November 16, 2023

Unlocking Opportunities: Minaoar's Tech Odyssey in Canada

Learn about Minaoar's transition from tech management to pursuing a master's in machine learning, followed by a return to the tech industry in Canada. Key to this journey were strategic networking, selective job applications, and leveraging resources like CITI and executive coaching. Minaoar's experience, marked by adaptability and continuous learning, offers insights and inspiration for professionals navigating career changes, especially in new environments.

Unlocking Opportunities: Minaoar's Tech Odyssey in Canada

Embarking on a career transition is always a significant journey, and for Minaoar, the path led from a thriving role in tech management to the decision to invest in personal growth. With a computer science background spanning 16 years, half of which was dedicated to development and the other half to management, Minaoar's journey is a testament to adaptability and continuous learning.

Why the Shift?

The pivotal moment came when, in the last role, Minaoar orchestrated the growth of a research lab from 6 developers to a formidable force of around 150 employees. Simultaneously, a cutting-edge payment system, spanning blockchain, data science, and other tech verticals, transacted over $2 billion monthly. While this success was monumental, the realization dawned that sustaining such a pace throughout a career might not be feasible. Thus, the decision to take a two-year thesis-based master's program at the University of Calgary—a break to reflect and immerse in the latest machine learning advancements.

The graduate program, though enjoyable, illuminated a truth: Minaoar's heart belonged in industry work. The return to the tech sector was marked by eagerness and anticipation for the future.

Navigating Immigration Challenges

Transitioning to Canada presented minor challenges—applying to different research universities and finding suitable thesis supervisors. These hurdles, however, did not deter the pursuit of career and educational goals.

Cracking the Job Hunt Code

Minaoar's job hunt journey unfolded in a meticulous manner. The first role in Canada was secured immediately after completing the master's degree. Networking efforts commenced in November 2022, leading to active applications in April 2023. The result? Thirty-two tailored applications, seven interviews, and one successful offer.

Key Insights and Resources

Minaoar shares valuable insights gained from this journey. Networking is not just a checkbox; it's a continuous process. Applying selectively to ideal companies and customizing applications based on the job post and company profile proved essential. Familiarity, both with the industry and the specific company, was highlighted as a key to success.

Several resources played a pivotal role in this journey, from coaching by executive coach Sharmin Banu to the Career Direction Toolkit program from CITI. Books like "The Art of Not Giving a F*ck" and "Canadian Workplace Culture" provided additional guidance. LinkedIn posts from CITI advisor Pascal Theriault became go-to references for messages, resumes, connections, and job applications.

Advice for Immigrants

Drawing from personal experience, Minaoar advises fellow immigrants to connect actively through tech meetups. This not only helps understand job roles and workplace values but also aids in building a network and seeking referrals.

CITI: A Catalyst for Success

Minaoar acknowledges the pivotal role of CITI in this transformative journey. The community built confidence, provided companionship in tech meetups, and facilitated connections with the local industry through an onboarding plan. CITI became more than a networking organization—it became a bridge to familiarity and opportunities.

Minaoar's story is not just about career transitions but about resilience, continuous learning, and leveraging resources and networks to carve a successful path in a new landscape. As Minaoar eagerly looks forward to the future, the journey serves as inspiration for others navigating similar crossroads.

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