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My Volunteer Story - Julianna
Running Like The Wind

For most people, having a Canadian education and work experience is enough to get you a job in Canada. Well, that was not sufficient in my case. 

 

Immediately after obtaining my postgraduate certificate in ‘Human Resources Management’ from Sheridan College, my family moved back to Ghana for 7 years. Returning to Canada in May, 2016, with my two kids, the hope of finding work in my field within the shortest possible time was my main focus. I started applying for jobs online, attending job fairs and visiting recruitment centers, only to discover that I needed to be effectively ‘re-certified’ in Canada.

 

I participated in a 6-week ‘Human Resources Bridging Program’ through Access Employment and Sheridan College, which helps a foreign-trained Human Resources professional integrate into the Canadian job market.

 

When all attempts had failed in securing work, the idea of volunteering was suggested by my cousin. She steered me to the Canadian Cancer Society’s ‘CIBC Run for the Cure’ as a worthwhile possibility. I volunteered for the 2016 event. Then, in 2017, I joined the Society again, but this time as an event committee member in the role ‘Volunteer Sponsorship Lead’ for the Mississauga run. It was a thoroughly fulfilling experience. I have never been happier than to see the impact that one good gesture could make in other people’s lives. 

In addition to that, I started volunteering at my local church, specifically within the Children’s Ministry. My responsibilities include planning programs and lessons that are designed to impact and educate the children within our church congregation. 

 

My need for employment continued, and in 2017, I secured a position with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada as an interpreter for tribunal hearings.

 

Near the end of August 2017, my employment consultant invited me to consider a volunteering opportunity with Volunteer MBC. The specific role was that of ‘Volunteer Engagement Assistant’. Its description alone convinced me that I would be using my human resources skills and training not only to contribute to the local community, but also that the experience would enhance my professional development and employability.

 

In both respects, my experience at Volunteer MBC has been nothing less than a great success. What stands out has been the opportunity to improve my interview skills, thereby building my confidence in the field I intend as a career. My role also embraced a wide variety of tasks that have added to my versatility in office administration through valuable exposure to how a sophisticated not-for-profit organization works. And the highlight has been helping Volunteer MBC’s ‘Peel Cares Canada 150’ volunteering campaign, plus being one of the 101 volunteers in Peel recognized under that program last December during Canada’s Sesquicentennial. 

 

Alas, this memorable chapter in my life recently closed, as I advance my career aspirations by acceptance of employment in Human Resources, and I am so excited over a further realization of my career goals. That having been said, volunteering will always remain a part of me.


Written by Juliana B
Written by Juliana Boateng