After a course in computer engineering, Simon was teaching part-time and building a business with his friend when he decided it was time to leave Iran and move to Canada. He knew he could make a lot of money in Iran, but he disagreed with some government policies there. Canada was where he saw his future home.
Trusting his Instincts
Simon and his wife settled in Hamilton, where Simon’s brother, was living and studying for a PhD, when they arrived in Canada. His brother suggested that Simon look for a job immediately, but Simon refused. He wanted to Canadian life to the fullest and made a promise to himself that he wouldn’t take a survival job.
He applied only to jobs he was passionate about. After two weeks and two interviews, he was asked some questions that he didn’t know the answers to. He recognized that his computer engineering knowledge needed an update.
Simon found the perfect IT course at Humber College. He didn’t know what to do – the cost of the course was half of his entire savings. He knew he had bills to pay, and more would be on the way. His brother urged him to find a job and not pursue the course. Simon decided to trust his instincts and apply for the course.
A Loan from Windmill
Simon came across Windmill Microlending after doing some educational courses. He sent in an application, not expecting any kind of response. He was surprised to learn soon after that he was eligible for a loan covering both his tuition in full, and his living expenses.
After a Skype interview, he received $7,000 CAD which only confirmed to him that taking the course was the right decision.
His IT course involved evening study and a long commute to Humber College, but Simon has nothing but fond memories of his time there. “I didn’t have anything, but I was enjoying learning,” Simon remembers.
Shortly after completing his course, Simon was offered a job. That job was a “starting point” for his Canadian IT career, but he wanted to work for a company with similar values to him. A few months later, he began working for another organization in Waterloo. This, Simon felt, was the first role that felt like the job he had moved to Canada for. All of his skills, experiences and training could be utilized in the role.
These days, Simon is based in Toronto and works as a senior software engineer with a large hospital network.
Simon never grows tired of the freedom and diversity Canada offers. He’s never felt treated as an outsider in any aspect of his life. “Still, after 7 years, it is kind of heartwarming for me.”
What advice does he have for newcomers?
“Accept the big change, and what you are not anymore.”