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How Canada Learning Code and ACCES Taught Me More Than Just Skills – They Gave Me Confidence

January 31, 2020 By Swati

Life is a roller coaster ride; sometimes it takes you up, sometimes down, sometimes you close your eyes and years have passed yet sometimes, just minutes – but that’s just the calm before the storm. The start of 2019 was that calmness for me: after much deliberation, I had left my job after working for 6 years in the IT industry to become a full-time homemaker in the small town of West Des Moines, Iowa. At that time, I had already received my ITA (Invitation to apply) for Canadian Permanent Residency, and was hopeful that I would be able to restart my career soon in Canada after a 2-year gap. 

My Story: How It All Began

I always wanted to work, but after getting married, I had to make the tough choice of working or being with my Prince Charming (who was in another country). I tried working in India for a year without him but ultimately, love won. At that point, we decided to plan our move to Canada, where we would have a better standard of living, un-parallelled career opportunities and a place where we can actually see our future – not just for ourselves but for our future children as well.

So, in September 2019, we decided that I would move to Toronto to settle down, look for a job and my husband would follow. Sounds like an easy plan, right? What I didn’t realize, at the time, was how hard it was to land an interview, let alone a job. My biggest challenges were: no friends/family support, no professional network, applying online but not getting any response from companies and losing confidence in my technical skills, among many others. 

One day through LinkedIn, I found out about “ACCES Employment’s Women in Technology” Program. It seemed very interesting because it was supposed to teach us how to get a job in Canada – the only thing I was focusing on at that point in my life. It turned out to be exactly what I wanted; I got amazing mentors from ACCES (Veronica, Sarah and Fahime) and Canada Learning Code (Kim, Alex, David, Wilson and John)! Each and every one of them played a very major part in my journey.

How ACCES and Canada Learning Code Helped Kick Start My Career in Canada

Sarah and Veronica taught me how to tailor my resume and cover letter, how to network and build lasting relationships and how to be the best version of myself. Canada Learning Code’s classes helped me improve my technical skills and made me realize that I already had a lot of basic knowledge and foundational skills; I just needed to brush them up a little to gain my confidence back. We all know that technology is always changing. Canada Learning Code taught us that even though there are new technologies, the most important thing is to learn those new skills, adapt to the environment and always be confident in yourself.

After the course with Canada Learning Code, I went to a speed mentoring event, introduced to us by ACCES, at Apotex Inc.  I met many people from management and one of them told me about an opportunity on her team. I connected with her on LinkedIn and sent her my resume. Fortunately, I got an interview. Now, equipped with my newfound confidence and knowledge from ACCES and Canada Learning Code classes, I approached the interview with the mantra – “Let’s give it my best shot, whatever happens, happens.” Then, after 2 rounds of interviews, I got the much awaited call from HR – “You have been selected!”

I was instantly on cloud 9! All the hard work paid off. But the lesson that I learned in these past 3 months – going to classes and managing a part-time job – that I will never forget is to give the task at hand your 100% attention, which never back-fires. I do know that from now on, I will work twice as much to always be my best version.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel and it depends on you how you will reach it – do you crawl, walk or run towards the light?

My journey is just getting started!

Guest blog post by Swati, a participant of Canada Learning Code’s Digital Skills for Entrepreneurship course delivered through ACCES. We wish Swati the best of luck in her future endeavors and can’t wait to see what’s next in store for her!

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