Shashank Sharma came to Canada with extensive engineering and management experience in many countries. The restrictions on his work goals in Canada frustrated him and temporarily kept him out of the labour market. However, through networking opportunities and other supports provided by ISSofBC, he worked through the challenges and has found a satisfying alternative career in a completely different sector.
- Connections to professional networking opportunities
- Financial aid to obtain updated IELTS score
- Resume and interview workshops
Shashank was based in Abu Dhabi as a project manager with an oil and gas sector company before arriving in Vancouver in June, 2016. An Electrical Engineering degree from his native India launched him on a rewarding career in electrical design, project engineering and project management. Despite his vast international work experience, however, Shashank still faced challenges when he began his job search here. He couldn’t understand the need for “Canadian experience” by local employers given his extensive global experience working in India, Abu Dhabi and Japan. Joining an ISSofBC employment program targeted towards internationally-trained immigrant professionals helped moved him past his frustrations.
Shashank built his career network and applied for jobs outside of his familiar oil and gas sector. Through networking, he found an Account Coordinator position that used some of his professional skills. He was able to quickly learn the sector and demonstrate he had the capability for more demanding work in the job he now enjoys: Operations Manager. “One of the best services I received was to attend a workshop/meet and greet with recruiters across Vancouver,“ Shashank recalls. “It was very helpful in establishing contacts and pitching my experience.”
Shashank started with his current employer in August, 2017, about a year after arriving in Vancouver. Over that year, he processed his frustrations and developed a stronger understanding of the labour market. Building his network, he found work in a completely new and unfamiliar sector: import/export and shipping. His initial role as account coordinator provided the opportunity for him to demonstrate his other skills, so that four months after starting, he was promoted to Operations Manager. As he enjoys learning about his new sector, Shashank continues to move toward his engineering goals. His success has built his confidence: he is now working towards his Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification after which he plans to obtain his Professional Engineer certification.
“Come with a mindset that it takes time to get into your desired field and you will have to work towards it by doing more networking.”