How to find a job, make friends and connections in Canada

Episode Description

Growing up in an environment where she got used to living alone, Katrina left her home country, the Philippines, with a determination to succeed and permanently stayed in Canada.

At the age of twelve, Katrina’s parents decided to send her to a city far away from where they lived to study. Katrina considered that as a preparation for her future – becoming an emigrant.

Katrina arrived in Canada with a permanent residency visa through working with an agency in her country. Although starting in a new country with a huge advantage, she also had to start from scratch to get a decent job as all other emigrants did. She finished a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s in Technology Management, which led her to a position in a food manufacturing company.

Katrina recalled her greatest struggles on moving abroad, one of which is finding a new community in a foreign place. Thankfully, she was able to immerse herself in various organizations, mainly Dress for Success Vancouver, for which she now serves as an ambassador. Through these groups, Katrina built herself a network of people who served as her family in her new home, Canada.

Things we mentioned in the episode

About Katrina

Katrina arrived in Canada alone from the Philippines in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s in Technology Management. 

In 2012, she restarted her career as a Quality Assurance Assistant for a food manufacturing company. This year, she celebrated her 8th year in one of America’s largest privately-owned companies as a Food Safety, Quality, and Regulatory Professional. 

Katrina experienced numerous challenges while restarting a new life away from everything dear to her. So, she considers herself fortunate to be able to give back to the community through volunteer work. 

She is honored to be the 2020 Dress for Success Vancouver Inspiration Awardee in recognition of her outstanding leadership and achievement within her community.

Say YES to opportunities, and the universe will conspire to make it happen.”

Get in touch with Katrina

Website - Instagram - Facebook

Tips and key takeaways


Episode Transcript

Katrina 0:01

There is a saying that your network is your net worth. So when you move to a different country, it's basically just you or if you're fortunate you have your family or your friends. So you have to expand beyond that. You have to expand beyond your own ethnic group also, because there's a lot of jobs that are not published, right? They're saying some statistics like only 30% are advertised in job ads, or whatever. So there's this hidden market that you cannot tap into, unless you have your net worth.

Daniel De Biasi 0:43

Hello, and welcome to episode number 48 of the Emigrant's Life Podcast, where we share stories of people who left the country to chase a better life. And for the stories you can find ideas, resources, a motivation to do the same. I'm Daniel De Biasi. And in this episode, I had the pleasure to chat with Katrina, who moved from the Philippines to Canada. Katrina has been involved with nonprofit organizations since she arrived in Canada, volunteering help her to meet new people and grow our network which led her to a successful career. When last year, the pandemic hit, the need for volunteers decreased. So Katrina started the blog canadianimmigrant to help others move and settle to Canada. In this episode, we talk about finding a job in Canada and Katrina, she has a lot of tips and resources on maximizing your chance to land a job once you get in the country. Even if you're not planning to move to Canada, her tips are still relevant for other countries. And her story on how she moved alone to Canada can prepare you for your immigrants journey into a new country. Before moving to my conversation with Katrina, make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast. And if you like what we do, it will be great if you could leave us a review on Apple podcasts or pod chaser. And now, please enjoy my conversation with Katrina.

Hi Katrina, thanks for being on the show.

Katrina 1:58

Thank you so much for having me here. It's my pleasure to be with you today.

Daniel De Biasi 2:02

Oh, thank you so much. And Katrina. Where are you originally from?

Katrina 2:07

I'm originally from the Philippines.

Daniel De Biasi 2:09

And where do you live? Now?

Katrina 2:12

I live here in Surrey, which is part of Metro Vancouver in Lower Mainland British Columbia.

Daniel De Biasi 2:18

In Canada

Katrina 2:18

In Canada. Yes.

Daniel De Biasi 2:20

Not far away from where I live.

Katrina 2:22


Daniel De Biasi 2:23

And, what age do you did you leave the Philippines to move to Canada?

Katrina 2:26

I arrived here in 2011. So I was in my early 30s.

Daniel De Biasi 2:30

Okay. And why did you decide to leave the Philippines?

Katrina 2:34

Actually, it was to challenge myself, because I took this Master's in technology management program. And we always talked about globalization, competitiveness of nations and companies, so I thought to myself, I want to experience that. I want to see if I can compete in a global work environment. So I had myself assessed for different countries, and it's only Canada that I qualified for so I feel that it's spring.

Daniel De Biasi 3:02

So how many country did you apply for?

Katrina 3:04

I just went to an agency to let me know what points I have, and which countries I would qualify for. And this is UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Most of the three countries at the time we're looking for health care workers. And it's only really Canada where I passed.

Daniel De Biasi 3:25

And why did you do didn't have enough points or your skills were not, so like other countries, were not looking for your kind of skills?

Katrina 3:32

I think this this, your second option is the one that happened. So I have a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and a master's in technology management. And at the time what was popular was healthcare providers or service workers. So I didn't really have any points for that.

Daniel De Biasi 3:52

And so your idea to leave the Philippines to move to another country or just to challenge yourself and try something different, is that right?

Katrina 4:00

That's the main reason. But of course, the charm of living in another country, especially a beautiful, well developed country, like Canada, is something that attracted me also.

Daniel De Biasi 4:13

So your plan was just moving abroad, challenge yourself and one day go back to the Philippines versus No, no, no, I'm gonna leave my country and I'm gonna start a new life in a new country?

Katrina 4:22

I knew at the time that it's going to be a permanent move. I didn't really have any specific reason, but maybe because of the environment that we had at the time, or even we're having right now. Because, you know, Philippines is still in the process of industrializing and such so, I know that there will be more opportunities for me when I move to Canada.

Daniel De Biasi 4:45

And what made you stay in Canada? Was it the only country you could go or do something that you felt like Okay, do I think this place can be my my new home?

Unknown Speaker 4:55

I felt at home in Canada, and I feel that the lifestyle that I have now is something that's really fit for me, especially here in Metro Vancouver. It's a busy city, right? But it's not like you're struggling every day to go somewhere because the traffic is good, it's a beautiful country, there is nature right outside your doorstep. And there's so many things to do. So I feel that this is just the right level of being busy and being active. But I also know that I have work-life balance.

Daniel De Biasi 5:28

So for you, was it easy to just live the Philippines and move to Canada or there was hiccups or some challenges you have to face when you decided to leave the Philippines, and move to Canada?

Unknown Speaker 5:38

There was a lot of struggles during my first few months, especially on building my career again. When you move to another country, you have to start from scratch, right? And I know that when I came here, I did a lot of preparation. I also had my bachelor's and a master's degree, but it doesn't seem to count, right? So aside from applying to so many jobs and getting rejection for breakfast, you also have your internal struggles. Like you're doubting yourself, you're losing hope, you're losing your sense of identity. So it was a big struggle.

Daniel De Biasi 6:18

You're not the first one that says that first of all, it's hard to find a job in Canada. It is not as easy as other countries. because English is not your first language. we just discussed this in the previous episode that you have to kind of go backwards like seven or even 10 steps beyond like a your current career in your country just because your mother tongue is not English, you have to kind of like start way back in your career. It was that kind of like the experience that you had?

Unknown Speaker 6:45

Yes. So I'm actually lucky that I was able to enter an industry that is at par with my background. But I had to take a job that is not at the level that I had when I left my own country.

Daniel De Biasi 7:00

Especially in Canada was requirements with Canadian experience but you can't build the Canadian experience if you can't find a job. So it's always kind of this like a situation that you need experience, but you can't build experience because you can't find a job.

Katrina 7:13

That is correct. I call it a chicken and egg situation.

Daniel De Biasi 7:17

Oh, yeah. Exactly.

Katrina 7:19

Yeah. So there are ways that you can go about it, like volunteering or just going out in your community to look at other resources. But basically, companies will look at your Canadian experience, even if they don't say it.

Daniel De Biasi 7:36

Yeah, exactly. And living in the Philippines, what was the challenges actually to leave the Philippines. Was it just as easy to apply to a visa and get approved or there were other steps that you have to take in order to move to Canada?

Katrina 7:48

I went to an agency so they supported me throughout my application. So it wasn't that hard for me. But I had to get my credentials all lined up, including IELTS language exam.

Daniel De Biasi 8:03

And what kind of like a visa did you apply for in in Canada? Actually, what kind of visa allowed you to move to Canada?

Katrina 8:09

I had the permanent resident visa.

Daniel De Biasi 8:11

Also you came already with a permanent residency?

Katrina 8:14


Daniel De Biasi 8:14

Oh, okay.

Unknown Speaker 8:15

Yeah, so when I came here, I was legally allowed to live and to work in Canada for as long as I could or in any capacity that I would want to.

Daniel De Biasi 8:25

So for the listeners that are not super familiar, so when you go the permanent residency, you can work for anybody, right? There's no visa is now attached to a specific company. Like when I go here for example, I came here on a working holiday visa so it was like limited to six months and I my first visa I got my work permit was attached to to the company so can only work for one company. But the good thing about when you come with a permanent residency, you can find any job you like. And that gives you more opportunity. And companies are more open to hire you because you can stay here for longer because I say this because I interview other people that came to Canada on a working holiday visa. And one of the struggles was the limited time they have on their visa. And that was one of my struggles and the struggles I heard from other people. So coming in for a permanent residency was pretty good. It was a pretty good way to move to a new country.

Unknown Speaker 9:16

Yes, I skipped all those few steps that you mentioned. There's no limitation as to what company I should be employed with, or what province I should live with or live in. So I went directly to being able to work for anybody for any industry.

Daniel De Biasi 9:33

And before you mentioned that you have bachelor degrees but it didn't really count in Canada, was that because was a was like a different qualification that you need in Canada or simply because you got it from a different country. What was the reason?

Unknown Speaker 9:45

For engineering you still have to challenge the exam and get yourself qualified. So there might be some gaps that you would have to fill to be able to be called a chemical engineer in Canada. So as someone who is new here with limited resources, you wouldn't want to spend to go to school again and get those qualifications, right? So you would want to hopefully work even if it's in a different capacity.

Daniel De Biasi 10:14

Yeah, exactly. Because it's, it's already expensive to move to a new country and start fresh if you have to go to school, and it's definitely more challenging.

Katrina 10:21

Very expensive and very challenging.

Daniel De Biasi 10:23

Yeah. So how long did it take for you to find a job on the same level that you had back in the Philippines?

Unknown Speaker 10:31

I will say that that is my second job ready. So for me, the gap between landing in Canada and my first job was almost six months. And then it took me maybe a year to be able to get to the level that I am, or I was, when I was in the Philippines.

Daniel De Biasi 10:50

Were you still working on the same industry? And you're just like, starting like a little bit behind or a completely different industry?

Unknown Speaker 10:56

It's the same industry. So my first job in Canada was for a food manufacturing company. And my second job is also the food manufacturing company.

Daniel De Biasi 11:05

Okay, perfect. So atleast you landed in the same industry, you didn't have to go and work as a bartender just to pay the bills.

Katrina 11:13

Yeah, yeah. So I was very fortunate.

Daniel De Biasi 11:16

And I guess when you moved to Canada, your English level was already pretty good?

Unknown Speaker 11:21

Fortunately for us in the Philippines, English is also an official language.

Daniel De Biasi 11:26

So you were fluent in English?

Katrina 11:28

I was fluent in English. Yes.

Daniel De Biasi 11:30

Okay. So that wasn't a challenge. It wasn't like a barrier that you have to overcome, even though still like a language barrier, probably between Canada and Philippines, just because the way people talk and-

Katrina 11:41

yeah, yeah, so we spoke English, but most of it is book English, let's say. Not conversational English, the way that we have it here. So sometimes you'll go, what are they saying? And there are also some habits that are different from ours. For example, when they say how are you in the Philippines, you would really reply, right? But here, it's just a greeting. It's part of a greeting. So when they say, How are you? But then they're already running away. So I'm like, but you were asking your question? Yeah. So it's not about the language, but maybe how they use the words in their daily lives.

Daniel De Biasi 12:21

Okay. Do you have any regrets about leaving the Philippines?

Unknown Speaker 12:25

Not at all, I have no regrets. But I listened to one of your previous podcast with Ruairi as your guest. And he said something that resonated with me. He said that for emigrants their heart and their mind can be in two different places at the same time. So I don't really consider this as a regret, but it is something that is a reality for emigrants like us.

Daniel De Biasi 12:50

Yeah, you're totally right. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 12:52

Yeah. Especially in this times, right. So you would want to support your loved ones with the struggles that they might be having. But you know, that you can't.

Daniel De Biasi 13:01

hear because you're on the other side of the word.

Katrina 13:03


Daniel De Biasi 13:03

Especially like now with COVID and restriction, flight restriction all that's even more challenging, because we're going through a really challenging time and being on the other side of the world where maybe your relatives, your families, it's completely for gallantry. It's I don't know, it's been challenging the last year and a half.

Katrina 13:20


Daniel De Biasi 13:21

Because now you've been in Canada for what 10 years now? Right?

Unknown Speaker 13:25

Yes, I'm about to celebrate my 10th year anniversary in September.

Daniel De Biasi 13:29

Oh, congratulations. 10 years, almost.

Katrina 13:32

Time flies, right?

Daniel De Biasi 13:35

Yeah. You are now like a Canadian citizen.

Katrina 13:37

I am. Yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 13:38

Did that make you feel any different? Like, because I interview Jadranka, in the previous episode, and she said that now she travels around with a Canadian passport. And the way that people treated her is is different is different. Because now she's Canadian. She's got a Canadian passport, then people look up, I don't know, her passport and now she's getting it is different from the previous passport was from Bosnia. So people now see her differently. Did you have the similar experience?

Unknown Speaker 14:04

Yes, that's a great advantage for us Canadian citizens. Because coming from the Philippines, you would have to prove so many things to the consulate or the embassy that you're going back to your country that you have enough funds and all but now you just breeze through the airport. Right? So I've been to different countries since I became a citizen. And I've been to several countries in Europe and in Korea, South Korea, and it was so easy for me.

Daniel De Biasi 14:36

Yeah, and now because of your Canadian passport now you probably can move and go to other country where before you were not allowed to. Is that something maybe you're considering or you're, like you say like no, no, Canada is my home. I'm not looking to find I don't know other situation. I don't want to try other places.

Unknown Speaker 14:55

Yes, it's not on my mind to move to other countries. I'm not saying it's a hard no, who knows if there are opportunities, but I'm not actively searching.

Daniel De Biasi 15:05

Because that's part of the thing I, I found in other people that I interview that once you become an immigrant, you cannot ever feel like 100% settled. Always kind of looking to find your home, or the place that you can call home. And at some time people struggles to find find that place because now you don't have your roots anymore. So you move to a new country, oh maybe I try something different and you try something different and you still not feel 100% your home. And you still keep going, keep going until I don't even know if one day we find the place that you can actually call home. For you, that's actually pretty good that you moved to Canada, you moved to this country, you find your place. That's amazing.

Katrina 15:43

Yeah, I'm very happy with the life that I have built for myself here in Canada.

Daniel De Biasi 15:49

So we already spoke about challenges. Did you have any maybe other challenges that you wanted to discuss that you find like hard to overcome, then maybe you want to give the listener some advice or like things maybe the challenge that you were not expecting that when you got here, like I wasn't expecting this.

Unknown Speaker 16:06

Well, I moved to Canada alone. So aside from all the struggles that emigrants go through, there is also this lack of support system. So there's really not a lot of people that you can talk to about your daily struggles because they have their own right? Even if they've already settled here in Canada, they would be busy with their own life. And for you who's starting from zero, in a new country and alone, having no friends, nobody to talk to is a really big struggle. I'm very fortunate that I had nonprofit organizations who helped me along my journey. There were several of them like still connects for immigrant diversity, success VC and dress for success Vancouver, who helped me by giving me resources, helping update my life skills and my professional skills. But also through this organization's I have met people who I consider my net worth right now.

Daniel De Biasi 17:10

Okay, can you repeat the names of the organization for the listeners?

Unknown Speaker 17:13

Yes, there's a program called Skills Connect for immigrants. And then organizations like DiverCity, diverse city.

Daniel De Biasi 17:23


Unknown Speaker 17:23

Then there is Success BC and most importantly, for me Dress for Success Vancouver.

Daniel De Biasi 17:30

That's exactly that's one of the things I'd like to talk about you like Dress for Success. But before going there, I want to just like touch a little bit more about finding friends, creating your circle of friends, like because that's one of the main thing that makes you feel at home. It is not just the country and the beautiful landscape or whatever, it is the people that you connect with in the new country. Is that the way that you find new friends and you meet new people for like through this organization, or you use different other channels or, and how did you find like people in Canada?

Unknown Speaker 18:01

Yes, I found my friends mainly to this organizations because it's not just a one time interaction. I was in workshops with this people. So I will see them regularly, and build my connections with them throughout this meetings.

Daniel De Biasi 18:16

And the people that you met were like mainly Canadians or other immigrants?

Unknown Speaker 18:19

They're a mix of people. So I'm fortunate to be able to meet people from all walks of life from all cultures. And that's always fun, righ? But what I also appreciate is that I learned from them from different perspectives that they have.

Daniel De Biasi 18:36

Yeah, that's the beauty of it. Because you meet people from all over the world that gives you a little insight of other culture and also people from Canada and give you the insight of the country you're building your life on.

Katrina 18:47

Yeah, I find that very interesting.

Daniel De Biasi 18:50

Okay, perfect. And now moving to Dress for Success Vancouver, you are an ambassador right for Dress for Success? Do you want totell to the listener what Dress for Success is and what does it mean to be an ambassador for them?

Unknown Speaker 19:03

Dress for Success is a non-profit organization. It started in the States, but the first affiliate outside of the US established here in Vancouver, in 1999. So they help women to get back to work. So they have a lot of programs, such as providing workplace appropriate or interview appropriate attire. We also have Career Center, where people can ask HR practitioners to look at their resume and help them with their interview skills. We also have the professional women's group, which is now a one year program. And each month we have different topics that will help you update your life skills.

Daniel De Biasi 19:54


Katrina 19:54

The ambassador program is an additional program where they will choose several women to be on a leadership and communications development program. So with that, we are trained to share our stories within the community to raise awareness on wealth transfer success Vancouver is to get clients and maybe to raise funds. But most of all it is for us to give hope, inspiration, and maybe positivity to the people who listen to our stories.

Daniel De Biasi 20:28

Because I remember listening to another podcast How I Built This by Gary Ross. And he was interviewing the founder of Dress for Success in the US. And this person created like Dress for Success to help women just feel more confident than that's why the name Dress for Success is, right? So they're was just like giving them like a nice dress for a woman so they feel more confident to get land a good job in the US. Is it the same thing here in Canada? Does it work in the same in a similar way?

Unknown Speaker 20:57

It's the same thing. That is actually their flagship program. And that's how it started. So if my memory serves me, right, Nancy, who is the founder was given a $5,000 inheritance by her grandpa. And the granpa was saying that among those sea of people lining up for an interview, this person might potentially be hired, this, not this one will be, and she said why? He mentioned the attire, not just because of the attire itself, but because of the confidence that it will give the wearer and the perception that the other person will get from your confidence. So Dress for Success really started from a suiting program, and then it developed from there.

Daniel De Biasi 21:45

Okay, and for maybe the female listeners, do you have any particular advice you want to give them to how to find a job how to land a good job in Canada?

Unknown Speaker 21:54

For me, it is important to first be prepared before your move. So research the industry that you want to go to. And if there is something that you can already prepare, before you move, then do it because it's very costly and time consuming here. And then second, look for organizations that provide support for emigrants. There are a lot of them. And that is something that I'm thankful for here in Canada, because in each city, there's always an organization that can help, maybe provide feedback on your resume, or be able to provide free training for you or maybe be able to give you resources or actually lead you to a paid internship. So just do your research and those organizations, they're very helpful,

Daniel De Biasi 22:49

You can start doing the research, when you're still living in your country, or you kind of need to be in Canada before you can start applying or ask for help for this organization?

Unknown Speaker 22:59

There are some organizations that would help you even before you leave the country. I forgot the name of the program. But when I got my visa for Canada, I already received an invitation that is done through the Canadian Embassy, I think, and some organization in the Philippines. So it was a two day workshop. And then they look at whether what are the potential jobs for me? And what are the action items that I can do before leaving and as soon as I come here in Canada.

Daniel De Biasi 23:34

I think I got a similar email to say like, Okay, are you on the process to get a PR? So they sent me an email to kind of like a package to get you ready to settle in Canada or something like that. I didn't really go through because I already had a job. But I think that's one of the steps they send you these steps before you can actually get your PR.

Unknown Speaker 23:52

Yeah, I think it's very helpful. So with that, within my first few days, here in Canada, I already got in touch with an immigrant serving organization. And then I was able to make plans to be able to apply to some workshops. And then from then on, it just blossomed. I was able to find more resources for me.

Daniel De Biasi 24:15

And did it help you to find a job just to give you like the tools to find a job or even just the connection to get into that company?

Katrina 24:22

All for me. So they gave me workshops, for updating our resume based on the Canadian standards. They also taught us how to network, the process how to do our interviews, but also they will tell you if there are job fairs available, or if they have industry connections, they would actually refer you to those people looking for employees.

Daniel De Biasi 24:47

That's pretty handy. Because I remember when I got here, I was looking for jobs. And I think I went through a program through the library, the Vancouver library. I don't know if you're familiar if you know anything, maybe it's something that you did as well. I think through the library, there was like this process going through your resume and how to find jobs and even like if you don't know what to do in your career, they give you like a path to decide what do you want to d. And I was like, Oh, this program, that was like a for free through the Vancouver library.

Unknown Speaker 25:16

I haven't been through those programs, but I've seen the ad. And also, I know that the libraries here in Canada are not just for books. They're not just for movies. Now they have a lot of beautiful or helpful programs, I should say. So for those who are coming to Canada, or who are already here, libraries are great resources for us, right?

Daniel De Biasi 25:39

Yeah, totally. And if you go look at the car from the Vancouver library, you can even get LinkedIn learning for free, which is I think like a $35 a month. And if you got the Vancouver library card, it's that's free. So even LinkedIn learning to get all the qualification and through LinkedIn and which is a great platform to find jobs online. You can get it for free as well.

Katrina 26:01

Oh, I didn't know that. Thank you for the tip.

Daniel De Biasi 26:05

I haven't tried in a while. Maybe I've got to do some research and maybe put down the show notes for the people that are listening. And because I'm not 100% sure if it's still on, but that was until, like a few months ago, you could get like LinkedIn learning for free.

Unknown Speaker 26:18

Yeah, but even if it's not on right now, you can do a lot of things from the comfort of your home with your Vancouver library, or any other library card, I should say.

Daniel De Biasi 26:28

Totally. And I want to talk about your story like the way you left the Philippines. And do you want to like share more about the Philippines and the things that we didn't discuss? How did you actually do it? What were the challenges and the things that you have to go through from even just leaving your family leaving your friends and move to Canada, what was the situation what was your experience?

Unknown Speaker 26:51

Leaving the country was not very difficult for me, just because when I was 12 years old, I studied in a different city. So the city is eight hours away from my own home. So I was used to living alone from a very early age. And from then on, I live in a dormitory since age 12 to let's say age 21. So I was basically ready for a move here in Canada, right? But I know that moving to a different country is different in the sense that it's not easy to get help. It's not easy to get support when I need that. So it's a different kind of struggle. For me, it was more on the day to the support, right? Like you go home, you're all alone. You try to find work the entire day, but you weren't successful. So when you get home, it would be nice to be able to talk to someone about your struggles and at least have someone pat you on the back and say okay, tomorrow's another day. But we don't get that right as emigrants, and that's the most difficult part. So, for my move to Canada, as I've mentioned, I went to an agency. And the reason for this is that I know at the time that the rules are going to change. So the list for those jobs that are wanted in Canada will change very, very soon. So I had to do my paperwork on time and properly because there's not a lot of room for errors. And fortunately, after 14 months, I was able to get my permanent resident visa,

Daniel De Biasi 28:37

All it took only 14 months to get to the whole process or from the time you applied?

Unknown Speaker 28:42

From the time that I went to the agency, I think until I got my visa.

Daniel De Biasi 28:48

That was fairly quickly.

Katrina 28:50

It was. Because at the time they were trying to clear out all the backlog that they have for visa applications. So I was very fortunate. So I had a few months preparation before coming to Canada because I had to leave my previous job and I landed here in September of 2011. It was I think the last day of summer, where people were still wearing their summer clothes, but I was wearing I was wearing long sleeve turtleneck and then a jean jacket over it because coming from a tropical country that is cold. So that is the first challenge for me actually, the weather

Daniel De Biasi 29:35

Yeah. Because coming here in September in Vancouver you get into the winter, which is almost always raining it rains a lot here in Vancouver. So coming from a tropical country in September, where the rainy seasons gonna start can can be depressing.

Katrina 29:51

Oh, yeah, it is. Yeah, it's always dark. It's always gloomy. It's always raining. But back home. It's sad. Every day is almost a sunny day. I actually know some people who get depressed when it's raining because it does rain a lot here in Vancouver. But I think that that is something that people would need to adjust to living in a forest like ours.

Daniel De Biasi 30:17

Yeah, I want to go back a little bit when you said that you were living in a different town from the age of 12. Why was this because that's to go to school, you had to go to a different city, or that's kind of like the norm in the Philippines, because I'm not very familiar with the culture in the Philippines. So I apologize for that.

Unknown Speaker 30:34

No, no problem. It was a special school. So we had to take two examinations for us to qualify for that school. But that school is sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology. So basically, all of the students in that school are scholars, and the curriculum for that school is advanced compared to the regulatory schools. So we had more focus on science and technology.

Daniel De Biasi 31:02

So you decided that field at 12 years old?

Unknown Speaker 31:04

My parents decided for me, because they thought that it was a good opportunity. So because I was young, I was just a child, right? I knew in my mind that they were correct. But of course, I was sad. But I had to do it. I did it anyway.

Daniel De Biasi 31:21

And were your parents happy for you when you decide to leave the Philippines to move to Canada?

Unknown Speaker 31:25

They were happy for me because they knew that there will be more opportunities for me.

Daniel De Biasi 31:29

Was that one of the reason why they decided to send you to that specific school, that specific field so that you can have more opportunity abroad?

Unknown Speaker 31:38

Not specifically abroad, but because it was a special school, and there's a scholarship, then they feel that it is a better choice for me.

Daniel De Biasi 31:47

Okay, and worked out quite well.

Unknown Speaker 31:50

Yes. So I think it prepared me for my move here in Canada.

Daniel De Biasi 31:55

And now that you've been in Canada for like 10 years, if you could make a phone call to your younger self, what would you say to her?

Unknown Speaker 32:01

I have a go-to-code for this, say yes to opportunities, and the universe will conspire to make it happen. So I've never been afraid of changes. But of course, there are times when you doubt yourself, you doubt your capacity to overcome the challenges. But if you really put your heart and your mind to it, you will be able to overcome this and you will be rewarded with something great.

Daniel De Biasi 32:27

Absolutely agree. And is there anything that you would have done differently now that you know, the process, you know, all things working candidates is there anything you would have done differently?

Unknown Speaker 32:35

I would say I would try to be more active within the community. Not that I'm not active because I do a lot of volunteer work. But this is how you're going to expose yourself to Canada, to the various cultures to the various people, queue scenes. And Canada is a very diverse country. And you will be able to live a better life, when you see the entire Canada or what it offers, right?

Daniel De Biasi 33:07

Yeah, no, absolutely. And do you have any particular advice do you want to give to the listener or any more advice you would like to give to the listeners that wants to move to Canada?

Unknown Speaker 33:16

There is saying this, your network is your net worth. So when you move to a different country, it's basically just you or if you're fortunate you have your family or your friends. So you have to expand beyond that. You have to expand beyond your own ethnic group also, because there's a lot of jobs that are not published, right? They're saying some statistics, like only 30% are advertised in job ads, or whatever. So there's this hidden market that you cannot tap into, unless you have your net worth.

Daniel De Biasi 33:51

And the way to build your network will be through organization through any programs, or do you find any other solution, maybe like a Facebook groups or other way to get inside of the community, what's your way to grow your network?

Unknown Speaker 34:05

For me, the biggest way is actually volunteering. Because with this, they will know you as a person, right? And that's how you will be able to build trust, to be able to show your skills and your dedication. And this is something that you can actually put into your resume. But if that is something that you cannot do at the moment, then yeah, you're right. You can join groups in Facebook, you can join social media, or you can follow people, because I feel that right now there's a lot of people who share information through websites, through YouTube, through podcasts, through blogs, and you can actually talk to those people and interact with them. Yeah,

Daniel De Biasi 34:50

That's exactly how we get in touch. We got through Instagram. That's how I usually find people that were doing the same thing, right?

Katrina 34:58

Yeah, yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 34:59

That's how find each other. Because you also are trying to help other immigrants to get settled in Canada or to other immigrants through your website. Do you want to tell the listeners more about what do you do?

Unknown Speaker 35:10

Yes, I have a new blog, which is called And this is an offshoot of my volunteer work. I started it in November 2020. Because this actually when I officially graduated from the ambassador program of Jasper, success, Vancouver, so now I'm just an official, volunteer or ambassador. So, prior to November 2020, I did a lot of in person volunteering for Dress for Success Vancouver and other organizations here in Metro Vancouver. And as mentioned, in the ambassador program, we are asked to share our story to the community. But during COVID, I did not have any volunteer work, right. So I had to think of a project where I can safely still support other people and maybe give them inspiration. And that's how it happened. I created this blog.

Daniel De Biasi 36:10

Okay, perfect. And where can people find your blog?

Unknown Speaker 36:13

So it's

Daniel De Biasi 36:16

Okay, perfect. Then everything we discussed, and everything, all the links, and everything, as usual, is gonna be in the show notes so people can find it easily. So is there any other way that people can get in touch with you if they read your story and wants to ask you more like a specific questions?

Unknown Speaker 36:30

Yes, you can try me at my facebook group, Facebook page and Instagram, Canadian Immigrant Story. Or you can actually send me a note to the blog itself. I would really, really love to hear from you. So please get in touch.

Daniel De Biasi 36:47

Awesome. Thank you so much, Katrina, to find the time to share your story. I really appreciate it.

Katrina 36:51

Thank you so much. It's nice meeting you. And it's really nice learning from you also.

Daniel De Biasi 36:57

Thank you. Yeah, and maybe one day we can just when the coffee will be over. It will be hopefully before a coffee or something. We're just not that far.

Katrina 37:05

Yeah, I look forward to that.

Daniel De Biasi 37:07

Awesome. Thank you so much.

Katrina 37:09

Thank you.

Daniel De Biasi 37:10

Bye. Bye.

Thank you so much for tuning in this week. You can find the link of all the resources we mentioned in this episode in the show notes by visiting If you enjoyed this episode and want to support the show, you can share this episode with your friends. And you can leave us a review on Apple podcasts or pod chaser. And if you want to follow us on social media, you can find us on Instagram and Twitter at Emigrant's Life and Facebook at Emigrant's Life Podcast. And one more thing if you want to move to a new country a need help. Feel free to reach out to me either via email at [email protected] or through our website I look forward to meeting you. Thanks again for listening. Talk to you in the next one. Ciao!