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Success Stories

Alisa Kotelnikova

Country: Russia

Date Hired: December 18, 2020

Job Title: Baker

Employer: COBS Bread

How did the Immigrant Centre help you to find a job in Canada?
Immediately upon arrival, I registered at the Immigrant Centre. Then I had the status of a visitor. I was offered to attend language classes. After that, I rushed to apply for a work visa, and as soon as I got the visa I signed up for an employment program, where they made a resume and explained what steps to take to succeed, in addition, they helped me get a Food Safety and First Aid certificate from the Red Cross. Unfortunately, I cannot call my path short, because my goal was to get a job in a bakery. And it was very difficult to do with the level of English that I had. Therefore, I was recommended to take an English test and enrol in a language school where I studied for 9 months because a pandemic began, there was no work and I decided not to waste time. Also, the Immigrant Centre organized a meeting with the Muslim Institute, at which a representative of this organization spoke about the courses of cooks, which I completed. Then they helped me find a place to practice in a bakery. And after 1.5 months I found my job. The whole process from applying to the Immigrant Centre to getting a job took 1.5 years. Yes, my path was not the shortest, and perhaps I could find a job much faster if I tried to get any job. But I wanted to work in a bakery. And my job search history could have been shorter if not for the Pandemic - but here the centre workers and I were powerless and we did our best to cope.

What types of job search techniques did you use to find your job?
Oh, I guess I used every possible technique for finding a job. I used all the resources on the Internet, newspapers, job fairs, I myself went to cafes and bakeries and handed out my resume. But when cafes are closed for more than 9 months due to a pandemic, it is quite difficult. I think my perseverance and the fact that I studied the language in parallel with the search helped. I advise you to learn something in all incomprehensible situations. Situations will pass, but knowledge will remain with you

What differences have you noticed between working in Canada and working in your home country?
We have a completely different working culture. This is in addition to the fact that the Russian language does not have as many softeners as American English. I apologize endlessly to the manager and colleagues for my directness. But the language comes with time and understanding of the working culture in Canada is coming too. But there is one significant plus: my colleagues in Canada are much kinder than in Russia. I don’t know what it’s connected with, but the Manitobians are really friendly.

What advice would you give to immigrants and newcomers looking for work?
I even have 2 tips: Learn all the time, for this in Manitoba there are many free resources. For this I am very grateful to the taxpayers. And the second tip is just don't stop. Even if it seems that nothing is working out, one day the amount of work will turn into quality and everything will work out. I also have 3 advice, but it already applies more to your family members: support each other - this is the most important thing that will definitely lead to success. In addition, here you are everything for each other, because most of your friends and relatives are thousands of kilometres away. Your support is very important. https://www.icmanitoba.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Alisa-Kotelnikova-IMG_20210117_150347_733.jpg