Yumna is originally from Pakistan and landed in Canada in March 2020, only three days before the Canadian borders closed due to the pandemic.
Both her and her husband were working in the Middle East prior to arriving, and while they held lucrative jobs, the country where they lived didn’t offer them the ability to settle for good or apply for citizenship. Yumna did some research about Canada and was attracted by the opportunities, people, and potential to live in a place she could call home.
“Canada seemed like just the perfect option from what we researched. We read that the people were nice and welcoming, and it was actually the truth when we came here and experienced that. It's the perfect place to be. In Canada, you find opportunities and you can actually settle for the long term,” she said.
When she arrived, she was eager to apply for jobs and network, but it was a challenge due to the lack of in-person events. She felt that the support of an agency would help her succeed faster. One of her friends told her that Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) assisted her in her transition to Canada, and recommended that Yumna get in touch.
Yumna got connected to an ISC employment counselor and received guidance and advice on her resume and job search. She was also provided with virtual networking opportunities through ISC. Additionally, she attended various free ISC workshops that helped her understand the Canadian culture, employment, banking, and other systems in Canada. After 6 months of searching for work, she found her first job in Canada. She later applied for a position at an oil and gas company and was offered the job. Since then, she has been promoted and is thoroughly enjoying her work.
“The support and the encouragement that we received from people who were strangers to us was phenomenal and unexpected. We didn't know a lot of people in Calgary, so with that much support from people who you don't know, it's just something else,” she said.
Yumna is a strong believer in paying it forward. She hopes that every newcomer gets the support they need to not only adapt to their new home, but thrive and unleash their full potential.
Immigrant Services Calgary helps over 10,000 newcomers each year, connecting them to programs and services to
unleash their economic, social, and civic potential.
By donating to Immigrant Services Calgary today, you can change the lives of newcomers like Yumna, and help build a stronger, more resilient Calgary and area.