What if you could get some good advice from someone who’s in a career that you’ve always dreamed of doing? Would you take that advice if it was coming from someone who knew exactly what you’re going through?
RRC’s immigrant and international students got just that opportunity last year when six constables from the Winnipeg Police Service visited the Language Training Centre.
The purpose of their visit was to explain the pathways to becoming a police officer in Manitoba. But the presentation was unique, because all six officers also happened to be immigrants to Canada. Who could connect better with our students, other than these people who have experienced all the same cultural challenges?
The police officers, from Ukraine, Germany, Philippines, and Romania, each told his story. While they were very different stories, there seemed to be a common theme throughout. No matter what they experienced as newcomers, their end result was success. And their massage was overwhelmingly clear: Success is available to all who seek it, with a little hard work and a lot of determination and perseverance.
No matter when he arrived Canada, or what path he took to begin his career, each police officer’s experience and advice followed an obvious theme. This is what we learned from them:
- Pursue a post-secondary education. Find your passion or choose something that interests you greatly. If you are interested, and want to do it, don’t let anyone stop you!
- Finish your post-secondary education. Other opportunities may present themselves, but just get it done – you’ll need that piece of paper and that sense of accomplishment.
- Don’t give up. No matter what!
- If English is not your first language, learn it well. To do this, make English-speaking friends. Don’t spend all your time with people from your own culture and language.
- Volunteer. Especially if you can volunteer in an organization connected to your career goals. You’ll gain valuable skills and experience, learn time management skills, and gain a good reputation in your community.
- We all have knowledge, skills and experience of some kind. As you study and enter a career, bring that with you and use it. Everything is connected somehow, and you’ll find you can be valuable and valued for what you know and can do.
Studying and entering a career can be challenging and scary. But hearing that success is always possible – no matter what obstacles you face – should bring you some encouragement to keep trying.
Maybe one day you too can come back to the LTC and tell your story of success!