Almila is a recently settled refugee from Turkey. Upon arrival in Toronto, Almila was searching for opportunities to gain professional guidance, and she found the Welcome Talent Canada mentorship program. We asked her about her experience coming to Canada and with mentorship.

Q: Can you share a bit about your experience coming to and settling in Canada?

A: When I came into Canada, it was challenging to find accommodation, job and new friends because I left my job, my house, my family and friends in Turkey. I knew it would be hard time for me, but I had a goal and did not forget my goal anytime. Canada has great people who are helpful, open minded and kind. When you go outside, you see multiculturalism and people who obey the rules.

I worked for 5 years at a logistics company in Turkey. Finding a job is difficult without Canadian experience and the word ‘refugee’ carries barriers in society. I always mentioned to myself ‘my goal’. I want to succeed and focus on my skills and my job. I faced so many problems in Turkey because of the reason for my refugee situation and now I am feeling free and concentrating on my target.

Q: Why did you join the Welcome Talent Canada mentorship program?

A: I researched all the time Mentorship programs that could provide me efficient and effective career advancement and personal development. I need professional support from a person who has work and life experience in Canada for decisions of my future. I found Welcome Talent Canada and Program Development Manager, Alizee, contacted me with phone calls and email. She explained all details and steps of my personal destination. It was a great conversation and experience for me. She was so helpful and friendly. I want to give special thanks to Alizee.

Q: What is your relationship with your mentor like and how have you two chosen to meet?

A: Alizee sent me some Linkedln profiles for my mentorship based on my past experiences and our discussion. I selected the person who is Turkish and works at supply chain companies like me. I checked all details related to her Linkedln profile, education, background and current employee. I thought it was a perfect match for the relationship of mentor-mentee. Firstly, Alizee organized a Zoom call and three wonderful women introduced themselves. We talked about our experiences and backgrounds, Canadian lifestyle, and my expectations of the program, my mentor and Canada. Immediately we scheduled another meeting time with my mentor. Fast action and great conversation made me feel so comfortable.

According to our time schedules, my mentor and I met in person in a Cafe. We thought it was more efficient for our process and planned which kind of job and resume style is a good fit for me. I can say my first impression was so impressive and effective for me.

Q: What have you gained so far from the program?

A: I gained so many experiences so far from the program. It has been only a month, but fast, quality action is provided with a good approach and mindset. My mentor, who has a great background and successful work life and social life, helped me learn about interview steps, resumes, and life in Canada. We have already scheduled a once-a-week in-person meeting. I am so grateful for being a part of a mentorship program.