Elize Erasmus: A Mentee Story

My name is Elize, and I came to Canada in October 2017. Moving to Canada, my single biggest worry was that I would struggle to find a job in my field.  I am a Chartered Management Accountant with over 10 years of experience, but kept hearing that one had to have ‘Canadian experience’ in order to land a job.

I heard about ERIEC from a recruiter and contacted them immediately.  From the very outset the staff were friendly and helpful and gave me the impression that their job was to help me.  I was told exactly what steps I would have to take in order to enter the mentorship program and I even received follow-up calls to remind me of deadlines.

One of the ERIEC initiatives that I really appreciated was the Speed Networking event for finance professionals.  It’s like speed dating, but between candidates and industry heavyweights.  This forced me to think about the way that I would sell myself, having to make a pitch and impress people in such a short time.  It also afforded me incredibly valuable insight into the industry in Edmonton – because of my unique background there were some employers that I simply shouldn’t waste my time on as I didn’t meet their criteria.  This isn’t nice to hear, but is still incredibly helpful in guiding one on where to spend your energy.  The mentors seemed very keen to help and gave me lots of ideas that I never would have thought of otherwise.

Another aspect of the ERIEC experience that I really appreciated was how it put me in contact with other people who are in the same boat as me.  I met professionals from all over the world, and it was great to hear their stories and their words of encouragement.  One feels a lot less alone and desperate when you know that you are not alone in this venture.

I ended up getting a job after being in Canada for 2 months.  It’s just a contract role for the moment, but there are talks of making it a permanent role.  I feel that ERIEC has been instrumental in getting me ready to enter the Canadian job market by boosting my confidence, managing my expectations and putting me into contact with industry players.  This is a fantastic initiative and I really want to thank everybody involved from the bottom of my heart.  You are making a difference!

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