My first work experience in Canada

It’s been eight months since I arrived in Vancouver! Time has flown by and I’ve tried to enjoy every moment to its fullest. In a matter of 3 months, I will graduate from Stenberg’s Business Diploma – Marketing Specialization (BDMS) program, receive my diploma, and continue to further my education.

In this blog, I will share my work experience in Canada, how I got my first job, and what I learned.

Looking for a job in Canada

In my previous blog, I explained that the schedule of Stenberg’s Marketing Business Program allows you to work part-time while enrolled in the program. The ability to balance school and work was one of the reasons why I chose this program. I wanted to gain work experience in Canada to understand the work culture and develop my personal and professional skills. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but nonetheless, valuable and worth it.

Shortly after settling in Vancouver, I tasked myself with starting a job search. To work, I needed to get my Social Insurance Number, which was quick and easy to do. On the other hand, I learned that my CV must align with the country I’m in. For example, information that is important to companies in Mexico might not be relevant to companies in Canada. Stenberg College held a workshop to teach us how to create, improve, and adapt our CVs, so we were prepared and qualified to apply to jobs.

Once I gathered all the documents I needed and modified my CV, I started submitting job applications. One of the platforms I found helpful during my job search was Indeed. Within Indeed, you can search and apply to jobs that suit your interests. For me, I was looking for a job where I could work part-time on specific days. That’s how I found my first job in Canada, as a Walmart associate.

Las Jacarandas
Mexican town “Las Jacarandas”

A completely different work experience

Before becoming an associate at Walmart, I was an engineer at a manufacturing plant in Mexico. My primary responsibilities included coordinating with a team to ensure the machines and systems that supported the production line were running. At Walmart, I was part of the team that worked directly on the floor. This position was more physical and routine. It allowed me to learn new things and gain more experience, but more than anything, I began to value the work. Not being part of an administrative team helped me understand how people working on the floor think and feel. I realized that the job that they do is crucial for any business. I had the opportunity to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds, which allowed me to be more open-minded and adaptable to various work environments.

A new job opportunity in an SEO position

Six months after working at Walmart, I got an unexpected job offer. My marketing instructor, Emily, had recommended me for a position that opened up on the marketing team at Stenberg College. This opportunity took me by surprise. I didn’t see it coming, at least not that soon. Usually, to get a job like this, you need to have finished a program, have references, and search for an open opportunity.

The Marketing team was carrying out a project to optimize their website and were looking for someone to handle tasks related to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I remember after the interview when I knew that I got the job, I had mixed feelings. I was happy, but at the same time, scared and nervous. This new challenge represented a lot of responsibility, and the expectations that were placed on me were high. I knew I had to respond in the best way and prove that the choice they made was the right one. Believing in myself as they had done, I needed to focus and give it my best.

It’s all about learning

Thanks to my first work experiences in Canada, I was able to learn about the work culture. Being part of these two teams helped me develop my preexisting skills and gain new ones. I’ve learned:

  • The importance of punctuality and respecting people’s time
  • The benefits of teamwork and how mutual support brings great results for the team
  • How to practice responsibility, discipline, and organization in an SEO position while working from home
  • The importance of a company’s interest in the well-being and development of their employees

I am eternally grateful to these two organizations who opened doors for me and allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. I believe I’ve acquired the skills needed to be a more well-rounded and adaptable person in working environments and have enjoyed working in Canada!

Meet one of Valentin’s business diploma marketing specialization instructors here!

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