Grace Fotso

I was a mechanical engineer with 7 years of experience back in France and arrived in Edmonton in July 2013.  I didn’t expect to deal with so many challenges in Canada as moving from France!

I got to know the Bredin Centre for Learning by someone I met in Paris two years ago.  Through the Bredin Centre for Learning, I attended some career fairs in Edmonton in October 2013.  During one event, I met Mr. Doug Piquette,a humble and kindness person, who told me about ERIEC and its Career Mentorship Program.  But I didn’t realize that ERIEC is such a great organization, which welcomes newcomers and helps them to integrate into the Canadian society.  Later on, I attended a Toastmaster open house at Enbridge, and I was encouraged to participate with the Career Mentorship Program by one mentee I met there.  In November, I also got an opportunity to attend the Speed Career Networking organized by ERIEC and the Bredin Centre for Learning.

By attending all the events involved with ERIEC, I finally decided to apply for their Career Mentorship Program, and I was matched with a mentor from Stantec in January.

At the Mentorship Program Orientation, I felt really encouraged by the description of mentorship and the joy to meet and exchange with other mentees about many common things that newcomers experience when settling in Canada.  We shared with each other about the challenges in searching for professional jobs.

During the program, my mentor helped me gain some insight about the Canadian workplace culture, showed me many techniques to enhance my interview skills, and gave me a lot of encouragement.  I also got a lot of support from ERIEC staff, and I have a better understanding about the Canadian workplace culture and job market, which helped me improve my resume development.  I was lucky to get a lot of interviews during the program.  Many of them were positive and very helpful as I learned a lot from those interviews, which made me more prepared for my next interview.  Soon after, I landed a temporary position related to my profession.  I was so happy for myself.  It was a great opportunity for me to have my first Canadian professional work experience.  I knew I could progress easily.  Finally, close to the end of this first job, in a very short time, I got a permanent position in my field with a very kind team.

The Career Mentorship Program is really good, and it makes considerable sense to me as a mentee.  I really appreciate and want to thank sincerely to ERIEC and its staff for the work they have been doing!

The success of my first professional job also came from my patience, courage, confidence, and faith.  As a newcomer, I think we need to listen, learn from others, and find our ways by being positive and active.  If you believe in you, try your best to stay positive and active, and don’t give up on your goals, you will find your ways eventually!