Hello Everyone,

I, Usharani Rathinam, had earned Ph.D. in Development Studies from Reading University, United Kingdom. I came to Canada, as a postdoctoral fellow in 2015 with a status of a worker. I worked at Western University for a year. After my contract ended, I applied for permanent residency, and it was approved. Meanwhile, I applied many postdoctoral fellowships all over Canada and had done a few interviews. I was successful in one of my interviews at Brandon University; however, my work permit application was not successful. I landed in Canada as an immigrant in December 2017 with a lot of hope to establish my dream profession in Toronto. Having highly qualified and with many years of experience both internationally and in Canada, I struggled eight months to land on my first entry-level job in Toronto. Applying for jobs has become a full-time employment for me these eight months. I applied for several researcher positions; at universities, municipalities and NGO's in and around Toronto. I used my saving for my living, and on top of my financial exigencies, I had to deal with lots of job rejection emails. However, I motivated myself to apply for many jobs as much as I can.

Besides, I enrolled myself in employment service agencies, and got trained on how to write a successful cover letter and resume to specific job postings, and also learned the techniques to give a successful interview in Canadian standards. The employment services I have attended was very generic, and it didn’t serve the purpose of getting me a job, though, it gave me a sense of Canadian job market competitiveness and work culture. One of the challenges I faced was, although I was aware of the services provided by employment agencies, I felt that I lacked lots of information that is specific to my area of expertise such as membership in associations, appropriate training that fits my previous work experience and qualification etc. Another challenge I faced was networking. It was a very hard experience to get networked with professionals, especially while looking for an employment. However, I was able to make some connections with the help of IRSN, which served as a platform to get connected with other researchers of diverse background.

Having applied for 60 – 80 jobs, I was called for six interviews, and I was successful in two interviews. I am currently working as a Research Assistant for the Canadian Centre for Accreditation. I am a researcher in the Accreditation Standards Development team. My role is to provide a comprehensive report for each organizational standard by reviewing the emerging best practices and code of ethics published in the academic literature, Government of Canada reports, Think Tank standards and guidelines, legislative reports and other accreditation company's standards. In addition to administrative tasks and regular meetings, I am also delivering surveys, designing questionnaires, and analyzing quality update data.         

The reason for my success I believe is that self-motivation, getting appropriate training and information and networking with appropriate professionals. I also quickly adapted to how the organization works in Canada with respect to its standards, practice, work culture and ethics. I had also trained myself to be an effective communicator both verbally and written, as I found effective communication as an essential criterion within a Canadian work ambiance. I wish you all good luck to be successful in your career endeavors.

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  • Thank you very much. 

  • Hi Usha,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is amazing. I am happy for you. Keep it up.

  • Hi Usha

    Congratulation.I am sure your true life experince will inspire and motivate many newcommer researchers.I truly admire your self motivation spirit and keeping it at heigest level against all odds.

    Best wishes 


    • Thank you Rakesh. I’m pleased. 

  • Indeed a very inspirational story Usha! It reflects on how we all must keep trying to reach our goal with perseverance and hard work! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors as well! And believe me this is just the beginning for the good happenings! There's more good coming your way in the near future!

    And I completely resonate with your reasons for getting succes in this country to be self-motivation, getting updated training, effective communication skills and networking with appropriate professionals.I am sure many internationally educated researchers like us will draw an inspiration from this and learn to take their way forward!



    • Thank you Neelam for your kind words. I really appreciate it. 

  • Hello Usha,

    I am really glad to hear from you and learn about your success story. Congratulations! Your hard work and persistency worked well. Please share with us your personal challenges and how you resolved them. You mentioned about lack of information and networking to be the challenges you faced but beside connecting with the IRSN platform have you taken any other steps?  Also, I would like to know from you what kind of support from the Government could possibly make the integration smoother in your case and fill in the gaps of networking or information. 

    Wishing you all the success!


    • Thanks Sumona! In addition to IRSN platform, I have myself reached out to professors and other professionals who are working in my area of interest, by writing them an email. However, it is not 100 percent guaranteed. Also, I have attended conferences and done volunteering to get networked.

      What I meant by lack of information is, I never knew about newcomers federal internship program, until I searched on the website. Though, I registered with an employment service proving agency which directly deals with FINP, I haven’t heard this from them. On the other hand, every time I used to go with new information, and ask them how to proceed with it. I expect that such information should be handy or easily accessible. By having this information, one can save the preparation time. I just quoted one example; I don’t know how many more Government initiatives are there?  My suggestion is if the Government of Canada can provide a package that lists all employment related Government programs/initiatives; that will be helpful.

      Regarding networking, I know mentor-partnership programs, and likewise, if there are many more, that helps.


      • Thank you so much Usha for sharing your experience. I guess many of our necomer researchers will benefit from your information particularly about the Federal Internship Program and the various initiatives that you have taken. Wishing you all the success in your journey. 


  • Congrats Usha! That is great news! Good Luck

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