Shayan fled Pakistan because he feared for his safety as someone from an often-persecuted faith. He was in his early 20s when he arrived in Canada all alone, ready to start a new life. But he faced a challenge he never expected to be as hard—finding work. "I applied for jobs but always got the same response, 'You have potential, but unfortunately … ’"
Shayan’s degree in economics from a respected university in Pakistan was overlooked and he didn’t have any Canadian work experience. "I started feeling depressed," he says. “But then I heard about COSTI Immigrant Services and I knew it was my only hope.”
COSTI’s youth mentoring coach, Tejal Solanki, recommended United Way’s netWORKS Program to help Shayan build a better résumé, practice interviews and, most importantly, meet contacts at job fairs and networking events. After attending several workshops and networking—to his delight—landed a position in his field just two months after his first meeting at COSTI.
Today, Shayan works as a contact centre service representative, helping bank clients sort out credit issues. He hopes to apply for a financial analyst position in a couple of years before shooting for his dream job of being an economist at the Bank of Canada. Shayan says he’ll use his new connections to make that dream a reality. "I have learned that any connection can be helpful, and with the right contacts, you’ll find opportunities."