My name is Martha Chinedu-Okoro. I am originally from Nigeria. I came to Canada in 2013. I heard about ERIEC from my spouse who participated in a SMART Connection event via Bredin. He decided to attend an information session for the mentorship program and I came with him to keep him company. Eunice Dong delivered the presentation at the session, and it was at that time that I made up my mind to enroll into the mentorship program.
Not long after I enrolled, I was matched with a wonderful, excellent and informative mentor who encouraged me to keep applying for jobs that matched my experience, skills and competencies. The activities that we did together during the mentee/mentor relationship included but weren’t limited to:
- Review of my resume and cover letter- this activity included a discussion on accounting terminologies and skill sets that must be seen on my resume.
- Networking – We discussed the importance of networking (she introduced me to a recruitment
specialist, we connected on LinkedIn and she encouraged me to connect
with her connections).
- Job search methodology – My mentor advised me to regularly check on various job boards and sign up for more job alerts.
- Technology – she asked me to conduct some research on accounting/financial software(s) that are in use in Canada in order to compare and match with software(s) from my previous jobs.
- Interviews – she shared with me some links on interview tips. We discussed what the interviewers wanted to see and/or hear; the benefits in researching the company and industry sector before going for an interview etc.
All of these activities helped me to re-write my resume and prepare myself for an interview. She boosted my confidence a great deal before my first interview with the Government of Alberta.
The four Intercultural Competencies Workshops were very informative and I hope to utilize the learnings from them while on the job. Navigating the Interview Workshop was awesome and got me prepared to ’chit chat’ in the Canadian way before the start of the interview. Need I say that while attending these workshops I came in contact with a mentor who happens to be from my home country and he also offered useful tips on my resume regarding references.
During my four month mentorship, I got two job interviews with the Government of Alberta and was successful on one of them. Today, I am happy to say, that I am an employee of the Government of Alberta.
I am hoping that ERIEC is here to stay. The importance of its existence cannot be over emphasised as it gives newcomers insight into realities of the job market, employers’ expectations and the culture in the Canadian workplace.