Samar is a beneficiary of Jumpstart’s mentorship and Refugee Talent Hub program. Having arrived in Canada, Samar left her entire life in Sudan behind, including her career. She was searching for opportunities to network when she was introduced to Welcome Talent Canada mentorship program, through a friend. We sat down for an interview with Samar. This is her story! 

 The most support I found since I came to Canada was from Jumpstart Refugee Talent. Moving here wasn’t easy for me. I came by myself. I left my home, my good job, my career, my family. The first thing I had to deal with was reintroducing myself. I started getting so many rejections, which is something I wasn’t used to before. The most outstanding memory for me was the first snow (laughs). 

I started out very excited…to network everywhere.  As I kept moving horizontally, things started to decline aggressively and then (laughs) it just started coming up again. It was a learning curve, and it was challenging, because I needed to reshape my experience in a way to make presentable in a new job market. What inspires me are the success stories. Knowing that some people came and we’re sharing the same backgrounds, experience, circumstances and they made it. The personal thing that makes me wake up in the morning and sit on the weekends and apply for jobs…I just constantly remind myself of why I’m doing this. I aspire of becoming the better version of what I can be.   

The most challenging aspect about settling in Canada was finding a job and making people believe in your experience, believe in your background, and in your heritage, your culture, where you come from, trust your knowledge, trust your skill, this was the most challenging. Even the basic communication. I would have people mock me for having an accent, being so ignorant of where I come from, or what I can do.  

I started to manage my expectations and taking small steps, my experience & background is completely different from what I’m doing right now. However, I just look at it like a learning experience. Small steps to get me to where I want to be one day.  One of the achievements was getting my PMP. I did it in 8 days. Surviving itself is an achievement. I didn’t even know I could make it here this far. 

You should always appreciate the fact that you have a new start. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing right now, it doesn’t even matter what you used to do before. What matters is that you’re alive and you’re trying.  It would be more helpful to integrate more refugees to the government or corporate sector programs, because they would be surprised at how much knowledge and understanding [refugees] can bring. I think people shouldn’t refuse what they don’t know. The fact that those people [refugees] are more resilient, and strong, they made it through wars or worse situations. It makes them the harder workers [employers] are looking for.

When I first heard of Jumpstart in 2018, what attracted me to sign up was the good reputation. My friend was speaking highly of the organization and how helpful they are. The sense of empathy and support I found and the connection…you feel like people really understand your situation, where you come from and your emotional needs. I feel like they go above and beyond to make things happen for everyone. I would advise everyone to try the mentoring program. The support [at Jumpstart Refugee Talent] is better than any of the support I found at an employment’s definitely better because of the personal connection.