Two weeks after her move from Dubai to Canada, Rana connected with Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House-WorkBC Specialized Services by attending our ‘BC Industry Speakers and Job Fair’ in February 2018. Here, Rana expressed that she lacked the support of her family in seeking a better life and future for herself. During the event, she signed up to attend an orientation session with the employment program in our House.

In this orientation session, both Margarita Chapman (Case Manager/Facilitator) and Sammie Jo Rumbaua (Job Developer) quickly noticed that Rana was very charming, charismatic and open to listen and learn. Rana disclosed that she was a single female born in the Middle East where she had gotten a Master’s Degree in Health Management. She also mentioned that after getting past the initial excitement of her move to Vancouver, she encountered challenges. She quickly learned that Vancouver is not an easy place to find stable housing, that it is not a simple task to find employment in her field, and that the cost of living in our city is extremely high.

Rana began to work closely with Margarita and was referred to Winnie Tam for assistance with housing resources, and Lamin Kassama for food skills and nutrition resources to promote social integration. Rana was also invited to attend the Women’s Knowledge Network bi-weekly sessions for peer group support and cultural awareness.

Margarita helped Rana learn about finding a job in her field in Canada by providing job search coaching, one-to-one workshops on updating and tailoring her resume, writing cover letters, acquiring interview skills and on accepting, starting and maintaining employment. Margarita also coached Rana on how to follow up through each step of her job search and served as a character reference. Rana also accessed Job Development Services to identify potential job leads and review her job offer/contract by her employer. Sammie Jo was able to communicate with human resources to access feedback on her interview, acquire information for Rana’s reference check and be informed of her successful on boarding process and placement.

Throughout this experience, Rana was always punctual for her one-to-one or group sessions, completed all her assignments and honored all her program commitments. Rana demonstrated her ability to connect with people in the community, and one of those connections referred her to temporary part-time work as a gym assistant.

Rana’s story demonstrates success in many ways. Throughout her employment journey she set and achieved her primary career goal. She demonstrated openness to taking an emergency temporary part-time job as a Gym Assistant to pay her bills and manage well her time to focus on her desired career.

Rana started full-time employment as Quality Improvement Coordinator effective April 16, 2018 with one of the largest reputable health research agencies in BC. A job that is related to her previous work and education.

Rana reflects on her process of immigrating to Canada and finding employment, saying “I thought I could find employment by myself without help. Two weeks after I landed in Vancouver I realized that I needed help.” Rana remains thankful for the help and support our House provided, “Finding WorkBC Specialized Services was a blessing. I got support and help in all the areas I struggled with. I trusted and believed in the process and it payed off.” She also recognizes the role or her Case Manager, in going above and beyond to support, encourage, and inspire her throughout this process, “Seeing how hard Margarita, my Case Manager worked, pushed me to work equally hard on myself and stay focused and committed.”