Rajeev Kumar arrived to Canada from India in July 2013 with a Bachelor Degree in Commerce from the Punjabi University in hand and an impressive resume that included being an Associate Member of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India. But finding a job in his field in Canada was a challenge.
“Back home, I was a Manager in Finance at a multinational corporation. But in Canada, I was not qualified for managerial positions because I didn’t have the Chartered Professional Accountant designation and I was overqualified for entry level jobs.”
This is a common challenge for internationally trained professionals when they arrive in Canada. COSTI helps individuals like Rajeev who have acquired professional qualifications outside of Canada and who have been unable to access employment in their field of expertise through its Enhanced Language Training (ELT) Program.
Rajeev was working as a labourer at a candy factory to pay rent for a basement apartment and buy food for his family when he contacted COSTI and registered for the ELT program until he found a job at Bhanot Professional Corporation, an accounting firm located in Mississauga. Rajeev continued to work while pursuing his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. “I worked and studied at the same time for three years. When I obtained my designation, a colleague asked me to join him as a partner. In January 2017, we opened Kang & Kumar, CPA and began our own practice.”
Rajeev says COSTI showed him how to navigate the labour market to find a job. “I learned how to contact prospective employers, make cold calls, build a résumé and showcase my skills,” he says. “I was trained to use the accounting software that is used in Canada and learned everything a newcomer needs to know about the Canadian workplace culture, like punctuality and discipline.”
COSTI also arranges internships and co-op opportunities with prospective employers, and at the end of the program, at least 75% of the students get a job. “I am very happy,” says Rajeev. “I have established my own company and now I am creating jobs for others.”