We are always happy when our Canada InfoNet participants share their success stories with us but we are beyond excited when, after getting valuable work experience in Canada, they become mentors with our program. Meet Olabisi “Bisi” Adesina, a former Canada InfoNet mentee, who now shares her experience and knowledge with her other immigrating professionals through mentorship.
Olabisi is an IT professional with 13+ years’ experience in the unique niche of both a senior Business Analyst and Solution Architect. She is a detail-oriented and technically sophisticated professional with a solid history of effective business analysis and solution/enterprise architecture, which includes full scale business analysis, project delivery using both waterfall and agile methodologies, process improvement strategies, support maintenance, system design and root cause analysis. She is currently working on transitioning into a full cloud architecture space where she can get into the thick of helping organizations take advantage of the awesome benefits and immense possibilities of cloud native architecture.
Below, you will see the interview we did with Olabisi, where she shares about her experience as a mentor and as a mentee.
Can you describe your job search experience as a new immigrant to Canada?
Apart from the excellent mentorship by/from Rick and employment counsellor/mentoring coach Anne which helped with the fundamentals such as resume review; I recall I got my first role through a virtual job fair organized by Canada InfoNet. Interestingly, I had sent my resume to the same organization that reached out to me during the virtual job fair and I ended up getting a role in my career line/profession with them.
The critical lesson here is that job searching as a new immigrant is a multi-pronged approach; and one should never let an opportunity go by without exploring it especially in those crucial first weeks as a new immigrant. And yes, one will get discouraged, frustrated, maybe even depressed – I went through all these emotions – but one just must keep pushing on. And, make use of EVERY tool at one’s disposal. This involves being alert and open to what is going on; there is no room for procrastination and laziness. The opportunities come in the most unlikely of places/events/conversations at times.
What do you remember from your experience as a mentee that inspired you to become a mentor with Canada InfoNet?
It was the way Rick and Anne handled our interactions. I remember telling myself I must get into this space and help others as well. I also recall what was missing from my interactions with Anne and Rick was the fact that they could not relate to the peculiar challenges immigrants from my part of the world faced. And this is not because they lacked understanding; it is simply because they are not from that part of the world. So, I told myself I can address such with immigrants like myself and help them have a much smoother experience than I did.
Can you describe your mentoring experience so far? What are your takeaways from mentoring new immigrants?
It has been good, I daresay. Some mentees are more responsive than others. I have learned and I am still learning to give out the facts little by little so as not to be overwhelming or intimidating. And, several have gone so well that we still connect on LinkedIn after the mentoring is formally completed.
What according to you makes a good mentor-mentee partnership?
Accessibility, responsiveness, and willingness to explain what seems basic and to allay fears with practical examples.
What advice do you have for new immigrants arriving in Canada?
Leverage heavily on the kind of mentoring Canada InfoNet offers and, as much as possible, seek to be mentored by someone from your place of origin so the discussion can address nuances peculiar to that culture fitting into Canada. And also seek to have someone in your career field so the mentee can get relevant information that will have an impact immediately.