Anita Rao

Anita Rao

Success Story – In Canada the Sky is truly the Limit

When I first came to Canada with my family, I did not know what the future held for us. All we knew was what we heard from friends who had made the transition: that Canada was the place for hard-working and dedicated people. If you worked diligently then the sky is the limit. Your work speaks for itself and recognition that is due to you is never denied to you. After two and a half years in Canada, I can say with confidence that what he had heard was indeed true. This is my story.

Originally from India, we had enjoyed work and life in Japan and Kuwait. When we migrated to Canada in search of a secure future for ourselves and our children, my husband and I left behind successful jobs in Kuwait. I was teaching high school and my husband was a senior banker.

Moving at a time when the world was in the depths of the Great Recession (2010) although Canada was not so badly hit, we decided that the best opportunities for us as new immigrants would be to move to Prairies where not many immigrants move. We therefore decided on Edmonton which seemed to offer the best of both worlds – a vibrant city and community life as well as the relative quiet of a small town.

While my husband could quickly transition his skills and experience in the financial sector, I was at a loose end as my teaching certification (Masters in Political Science and Bachelor of Education from India) and skills/experience were not recognized in Canada.

At one of the sessions for newcomers I learnt of several skills up-gradation courses offered by various community colleges and decided to apply for the Administration Professionals Course in NorQuest College.

Right from the time of my application I sensed the warmth and welcoming nature of the staff at NorQuest.

The course itself was a revelation to me. I thought I had above average computer or correspondence skills. But the faculty walked us through so many new ways of doing things whether it was using Excel, Word or drafting a letter. I soon realized why Canadian employers insist on Canadian work experience. Things are done in such a systematic and purposeful way that unless everyone is on the same page, it could disturb the harmony of the work place.

The Admin Professional Course had an important component of on-the-job learning where each student was placed with a local company / office to learn the skills in a real-life office environment. I was lucky to be placed with Strategy and Improvement of NorQuest College.

The skills that the faculty had imparted to us during the course were quickly put to good use and this placement helped us all immensely.

All through the 9-month course, I got a part-time job and was still adjusting to life in a new country.  This would not have been possible without the support, encouragement and motivation provided by the faculty and staff of NorQuest College during our course.

After graduating with a certificate in Office Admin, I was hired initially on casual basis and later on a full time basis by NorQuest College and can say that I am now part of the Canadian work force.

I now spend my spare time in helping new immigrants find their own niche, just as a lot of others helped me find mine.

Thank you, NorQuest College!