My Canadian immigrant story is laden with unexpected twists and turns. But I survived.
I was once a wide-eyed newcomer with nothing but dreams. Now, I am living the life I have dreamed of.
I wish there was a manual for simple, stress-free, and delightful immigration to Canada. But there is none. So, I created this blog to help immigrants and would-be immigrants along their journey.
I hope you find value in reading about:
How I prepared for immigration to Canada
I prepared for my move. But it never seemed enough.
I graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s in Technology Management. My resume was packed with years of solid experience in the manufacturing industry and academe. Also, I was confident that my experience of living in the dormitory since I was 12 years old has given me enough resilience, courage, and independence.
I spent countless hours researching various topics from resume formats, to job banks and Canadian culture. I even tried to learn about proper layering for winter. In addition, I researched immigrant-serving organizations and set up appointments before arriving in Canada.
In 2011, I moved to Canada alone from the Philippines via the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Since then, I have proudly called beautiful British Columbia my new home.
How I overcame barriers
Despite the massive preparation, I experienced barriers. There were lots of challenges ranging from settlement to career issues.
After five months of a difficult job search, I finally obtained a contract position as a QA Assistant. Although the contract was extended 3 times, the position did not become permanent. So I had to go through an even more frustrating job search. At that point, I had Canadian experience but minimal confidence.
After applying to over a hundred companies, I found permanent employment in 2013. With this employer, I am happy to be able to use my education, skills, and experiences.
In 2015, I moved to my own home, obtained my Canadian citizenship, and traveled back home.
How I enabled myself and others to thrive
Through my exciting journey, I have gained much-needed work experience and upgraded my education. I was able to build a supportive network, expand my life skills, and gain Canadian experience mostly by volunteering.
What elevated my immigration experience was my involvement with Dress for Success Vancouver (DFSV) first as a client, then as a volunteer, and finally as an ambassador. As an ambassador, I had the honor of sharing my story during their 2019 global affiliates conference. In November 2020, I was given an Inspiration Award for my leadership and achievement within the community.
This year, I graduated from the DFSV ambassador program. But I hope to continue helping more people along their immigration journey. This has inspired me to create a blog.
I still wish that there was a manual for immigration to Canada. I know that I do not have the eloquence of a professional writer or the knowledge of an immigration consultant. But I have the heart of an immigrant. I sincerely hope that this blog will make your own journey more enjoyable.
Come join me as I relive my Canadian Immigrant Story.
PS. I started sharing more tips, stories, and inspiration on YouTube. I thought, if I am a potential immigrant, I want to see what Canada is really like. If I am a new immigrant, I want to see how else can I make life better. So, I am sharing more of my Canadian immigrant story through my lens. Hope you visit my channel as well.