Success Story – Saima

Q: What was your education level outside of Canada?
A: I did MBA in Finance in the year 1997, and BSc. in Mathematics from Pakistan. I secured first class, first position in the MBA class. Also received Chancellor’s award of Gold Medal and Certificate on securing highest marks in the Faculty of Commerce & Business Administration, University of Sindh. I am also Oracle 8 Certified Professional in Database Administration (OCP DBA).

Q: What was your job back at home?
A: I started my career from teaching MBA and BBA classes, I taught in the field of Business Administration in most of the prestigious Business Schools / Universities of Pakistan. I enjoyed reputation of being the best teacher, and was most liked by my students.
I taught Financial Management, Corporate Finance, Financial Statement Analysis, Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting and Cost Accounting.
I started my teaching career from Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi. After that I joined University Institute of Management Sciences (UIMS), Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. I was visiting Lecturer in different reputable Universities of Islamabad and Rawalpind i.e., Quaid-e-Azam University, Hamdard University, Alkhair University etc.
My colleague teachers and students used to say about me that, “she is the only teacher, who teaches very difficult and advanced subjects with lot of comfort, command and ease, and makes learning very easy.”

Q: What jobs did you consider when you first arrived?
A: I first came in Canada in 1991 under cultural youth exchange program between the government of Pakistan and the government of Canada. Then I got Canadian immigration in the year 1998. Since my immigration, I was in and out of Canada. Sometime in Pakistan, and sometime in Canada. I wanted to start my career in Canada in the field of teaching Accountancy / Finance.

Q: What was the first relevant job which you had here, and what is your position now? (If you can take the time, list all jobs which you have held in Canada) 
A: I got an offer from a School in Toronto to teach Accounting and Mathematics in their classes. But meanwhile, I left for Pakistan. On my return from Pakistan in April 2002, I tried again to find a job of my choice. Teaching!!!!! Yes! Teaching!!! This time I was very lucky. I wanted to learn some Accounting software most commonly used in Canada. I decided to learn ACCPAC and performed very well there. When an opening came for an instructor, I was interviewed, and finally I was selected to teach Accounting to FOREIGN TRAINED PROFESSIONALS.

Q: Is practicing accounting, and working as an accountant in Canada different from your own country? 
A: In Pakistan medium of instructions in universities is English. In most cases, books written by American authors are taught there. I studied Accounting from American books during my studies in MBA in Pakistan. I find no difference in Accounting in Pakistan and Accounting in Canada.

Q: Have any of your initial perceptions of the Canadian labor market and workplace changed? 
A: I am a Muslim lady. I heard from horse’s mouth that in Canada a scarf wearing women, and not wearing pants can not get a job. This is not true as I have an experience of it in my jobs in Canada. I feel that people should have command in their fields, and then they can get the job.
Once I looked in Employment News, I saw a job related to my field, I applied, and I was offered that job too.

Q: Do you think that one needs a Canadian certificate or degree in order to get a professional job in Canada?
A: Most people have misconception that degrees earned back home are not accepted by employers in Canada, and they say that without getting Canadian education, one can not get a job in Canada. To me this is a false idea, because I got jobs in Canada without getting any Canadian degree.

Q: What are your suggestions to new Canadians looking for a job?
A: Do not sit idle at home. Travel in subway, and buses. Go to the Mall. Go to different places of business and ask people how they got their job. Ask them for help in finding a job. Also look for jobs in newspapers and apply. Do not only send Resumes, but also make phone calls to employers.

Employment agencies also provide jobs. There are many of employment agencies in Toronto. One can search about employment agencies from internet or from yellow pages. Different employment agencies deal in different kind of jobs. They deal in healthcare, accountancy, general office, general labor, etc. So, it depends on choice of work. All type of employment is available. If one is looking for Labor work, then eventually he / she will get that. But if someone is looking for office job, it is also there.

Make friends, revive old contacts and ask them for help. Do not shy or become afraid of asking for help in getting a job. Be confident and bold and do not shy from hardwork.
If there is some deficiency, like, language problem, then try to overcome it by learning.
In the last I would like to suggest that, “keep your vision broad, and make continued effort, this will eventually lead to a successful life in Canada”.