This month we are highlighting Aksa Rose Antony, one of our youth graduates from the Toronto Youth Job Corps (TYJC) program. Aksa has shared her experience in the program:
“I landed in Canada in August 2020 (right in the middle of the pandemic). With organizations across the world working from home, I was apprehensive of being able to find a job in my field after landing in Canada. However, only after I started my job hunt by myself did I realize that my problems were far more than being able to find a job. I had to change the style of everything I was used to in my home country – from my resume and cover letter to LinkedIn and networking with people. All of this played an important part of my job search journey. But I did not just stumble upon all this information. I was made aware of all this by the Arab Community Center of Toronto after having joined their Toronto Youth Job Corps (TYJC) program.
When I joined, little did I realize that this program would change my life for the better? The trainers – Shady Khalil, Maha Alio, Saira Gilani, and Sari Alhoussaini as well as the director of ACCT – Dima Amad were all so involved and invested in our personal growth and development. We were a cohort of 13 individuals, with different learning abilities, experiences, ages, and ethnic backgrounds. But the support all of us received from the trainers at personal levels was incredible. It was during the training that I was made aware of the importance of networking and conducting informational interviews. Practicing these informational interviews with individuals in my field was what ultimately led to gaining insights to improve my LinkedIn profile and helping my profile get noticed by recruiters. Similarly, I was able to improve my resume and cover letter writing skills, interact with some established professionals in different sectors, support my job application with my trainers supporting me as my references, as well as secure a 2-month internship opportunity with a not-for-profit organization called Jumpstart Refugee Talent. Fortunately, I was able to convert this break into an 8-month long contract with Jumpstart and I continued working with them till I landed my first full-time opportunity in Canada. In short, I believe that ACCT and the TYJC program laid the foundations and gave me all the avenues that were required for me to set up a base to start working in a field related to my field of work. I strongly believe that what each one of us makes with the opportunities we get is up to us, but to be provided with the opportunities in a new country by itself is a big challenge and I would like to thank ACCT for laying the foundation to build up my career in Canada.”
Aksa is currently working at Ryerson University.