Jacqueline Brown: A Mentee Story

Jacqueline worked as a teacher in Jamaica for the past 20 years.

“It is always a dream for somebody from a third world country to visit a developed country such as America or Canada. So my family and I visited Canada. We spent some time with relatives and found that Canada was a wonderful place. I liked the fact that even a public restroom could be kept clean, the orderliness of people, importance of observing time as money among other things.”

Jacqueline obtained permanent residence status after a number of years waiting for the application to be processed. Seeing all the job postings available, weekly, hearing about several job fairs advertised, what she did not anticipate was the difficulty of obtaining a job above the survival level. Even the survival ones were somewhat challenging to get. She sent out quite a few resumes, but, only got response from a few who did a telephone interview at first then a face to face interview. Not being able to show how she could transfer her previous skills as a teacher proved challenging when the need arise for it on a resume (teaching jobs are not abundantly available if you do not meet the standard required by Alberta Teachers’ Association). After a few interviews and suggestions from persons around, she got the understanding of rewriting her resume and some interview skills. It got her a cashiers’ job for which she was grateful. Starting out as a cashier really gave her a good understanding of the culture and somewhat the way of life of the people.

Studying for many years and having experience can dictate your job options so she continued to seek help. She found Bredin at a job fair (an organization geared towards helping internationally trained professional develop their career path). There she enrolled, got a career coach, and started doing courses to facilitate the transition into the Canadian workplace. The courses were useful and further prepared her for ERIEC.

“At ERIEC, I was paired with a mentor; she truly understood the requirement for success. She encouraged me to continue volunteering especially in the field that I might want to launch a career path in. One of the huge tools of the mentorship program is networking. My mentor introduced me to a Human Resource Manager of a large business; she further assigned me to another member of her team. It was an eye opener to the world of huge job opportunities. This mini –mentorship arrangement gave me additional confidence and I am recognizing different way. I can adjust to make myself more marketable.”

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