Vyara Doncheva: A Mentee Story

My name is Vyara and I immigrated to Canada in 2016. In the beginning, everything was so hard – I was struggling, feeling homesick, missing friends and family, and it was difficult for me to adjust to this new environment. Finding a job was the most difficult thing for me. I didn’t know where to get started – shall I improve my English first, or start working towards Canadian Education Degree or Professional Licence, or search directly for an entry-level position?

I was searching from 8 am to 8 pm for any information, advice and job postings online. Through my online research, I found ERIEC website and the Career Mentorship Program. I submitted my application and for my luck, I got approved and accepted into the program. From the beginning, I received so many useful tips like online sources, training, advice and additional information for job searching seminars and network events.

My favorite part of the program was the ERIEC events and Intercultural Competencies Workshops. I learned valuable information and tips about the Canadian work culture and the most important of all was that I started to understand how to be part of it. Specially selected videos and interactive games effectively pointed out typical Canadian work environment situations. Through the ERIEC networking events, I had the opportunity to meet many HR Associates, professionals from various companies and everyone gave us advice and valuable ideas on how to succeed. I really enjoyed the workshops and events organized by ERIEC. After each of them, I always got insights and new fresh ideas. I realized important details about how to “advertise myself” and I was inspired and full of positive energy. Thanks to ERIEC, during my first month in the program, I met my first employer in Canada and started a temporary part-time job as a junior accountant.

I was matched with an excellent mentor who not only helped with reviewing and editing my resumes and cover letters, but she also gave me valuable recommendations and advice. My mentor helped me a lot with my integration into the Canadian work culture, she shared with me various stories from her life and sometimes we discussed different life topics. Now I believe that the biggest problem as an immigrant was not the lack of professional skills or Canadian professional licence – my main disadvantage was the lack of soft skills and understanding of the work environment. We had several meetings and she showed me what I need to improve and how. I followed my mentor’s guidance, and I landed a permanent full-time job in a senior position later on.

Throughout the Mentorship program, I was impressed the most by the people who organized this program and all their friends and colleagues/partners, who were friendly, polite, helpful, professional, well informed and kind. The ERIEC team was extremely supportive, always ready to help and encourage all of us. They are incredible, so passionate and devoted!

I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of the Career Mentorship Program and highly recommend it to everyone.

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