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Malvika Mahajan - Senior Buyer, Humber College

What did the journey here in Canada look like before you secured this job at Humber?

I came to Canada to find a better future and life for the whole family. At first I was anxious because we had no family or friends living in Canada. I was also concerned about my career prospects in a new country since I was coming off a maternity break. I had previously worked in a very big MNC and realized I had very little information about the job market in Canada. I decided that rather than starting a survival job right away I would give myself some time to explore and find the answers to my questions. What should I do next? I did research, received advice from friends and decided the best option was the bridging program at Humber. I felt that this program would help me learn about the supply chain sector, the working environment in Canada, and to increase my professional networking.

How did the supply chain (SCAPE) bridging program help you be better prepared to land this job?

At the beginning of the program, I told my professor, Beverly, that I was nervous because my past experience was specifically on the buying and procurement side. Beverly helped me relax and get excited to learn more about the whole supply chain. In the end, I scored in the top three students in the final exam. I couldn’t believe it.

The program coordinator, Karen, made sure we all stayed on track by keeping us organized and having a personal connection with everyone in the class. Dhania, our employment advisor, provided feedback on my interview skills and preparation and my resume. Dhania taught me how to customize my resume for each and every job I applied to. I found myself speaking with more confidence and was able to showcase my skills by adding extra effort and precise accomplishment statements which showcased my experience and competencies. Rick, our job developer, was always working to find us companies, jobs, and motivating us in the job development coaching sessions. He helped me to focus and narrow down my search to the jobs that were are the best fit for us. By taking our time and developing smart employment strategies we were able to better position ourselves to be successful.

The program was flexible around participants’ work and lifestyle. The bridging program team of Karen, Beverly, Dhania and Rick were always available and I can’t thank them enough for their support. They provided individual feedback and helped me build my professional network. The teachers were very practical with excellent industry experience. I found the technical skills courses and the soft skills training were delivered at a high level. The SCAPE bridging program helped me make the transition into the Canadian workforce by helping me focus on what was required and needed by employers.

How do you feel about landing the job at Humber?

Yes I was very happy to be chosen for a senior buyer at Humber College. This time of COVID-19 makes it a unique struggle for our lives and career. I couldn’t believe that I was able to land my dream job within 6 months in Canada. It is magic for me and I give credit to the supply chain bridging program. It shortened my learning curve from years to months. I immediately applied after I was forwarded the job opening from Rick. The virtual interview was a new experience and the panel consisted of HR, the manager and the director. The time during the interview went so quickly and there were very detailed questions that I felt confident in answering especially in after going through the mock interviews during our bridging program. We practiced so much that I felt ready for the questions Canadian employers might ask. They know we have technical skills but often want to see if we will fit their unique workplace environment and culture. I was doing the interview with my toddler and husband at home. My toddler made a few noises but the interviewers understood my situation that the daycare was all closed. I could see that they focused on my answers instead of the background. Soon after the interview I received an email to confirm that I was chosen for the job! 

What advice do you have for newcomers like yourself?

My advice is not to hold back. Go for the program, be open to change, use that time to explore, list your goals, talk to alumni, make a roadmap and action plan with the counselors, and seek guidance from employers. Even if the program does go online this should not stop you from taking advantage of your time in the bridging program. You don't know when the door will open with on post-COVID opportunities. Humber is still being supportive and during this challenging time I find them supporting us even more. COVID has not stopped essential connections from forming in our group and you will have a peer group to go through this together. Some people give up hope, sit at home depressed but I hope that they realize this is happening everywhere. You still have to move forward and make progress each day. The Humber team helped us and motivated us with our own educational and employment progress so that we can succeed internally even when the external situation is difficult.

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