Rafael Introvini distinctly remembers being encouraged to seek career success in Canada. What he didn’t realize as an engineering student in Brazil in 2006, was that 12 years later in London, Ontario, he would be embarking on an even longer learning journey.
“No matter if you’ve worked before, the reality is that people who grew up here have already made connections. Mathematically, that means you’d have access to more opportunities. Connections are currency. Coming here alone, it was really the start of a new life.”
The barriers that newcomers face upon their arrival are often invisible to people with western roots. Despite the resources available to answer any of his questions on entering a new workforce, Introvini insists that the availability of information isn’t the issue — it’s the information overload.
“What I needed was to know what I could afford to not focus on—the ‘why not’,” Introvini explains.
Upon connecting with the Access Centre for Regulated Employment and WIL after a recommendation from a friend, Introvini was connected with Immploy mentor Konrad Konnerth, whose engineering and entrepreneurship experience would provide the guidance he’d been missing.
“People who work in Canadian organizations already—they know how to play the game, so they’re aware of how to leverage their past experiences,” Introvini explained. “I didn’t even realize that here, it’s not standard practice to put a headshot on your resume.”
Introvini explains that having Konnerth guide him through the process of building a resume to an accepted standard, helping him understand how his qualifications translated, and running mock interviews, were only the beginning of his mentorship.
“He was really helpful. Konrad helped me understand what companies were looking for when they used certain words in their job descriptions, and how the workplace is culturally different from what I’m used to. It was nice to know someone who had been through the same things.”
Thanks to his mentor’s advice, Introvini was also able to take his career in a different, unexpected direction.
“I ended up changing from one industry to another entirely. I was working as a safety engineer at a seaport, and now I’m at a brewery as a process engineer. They’re two different job titles, and and I am grateful to be able to learn from a different field.”