A Business Analyst, he had most recently been employed in his native Pakistan, as a business manager with a land development and construction company. In 2008 he arrived in Edmonton and found temporary work related to the construction industry. “But as the recession took grip in 2009 I couldn’t find work, not even in the malls,” says Fahad.
Frustrated, and with his wife Saba in Pakistan struggling through the paperwork to join him in Canada, Fahad returned home. “I had been doing my MBA in Pakistan and had only two semesters left, so I returned to my studies and my old job.”
In 2011, Fahad and Saba returned to Canada—this time to Toronto to stay with Fahad’s father. Fahad took a two-week job hunting class followed by a five-week workplace communication course from Ryerson University facilitated by ACCESS Employment Mississauga, which assists internationally trained professionals.
The course provides intercultural communication and soft skills training to enhance awareness and understanding of cultural differences in communication. “Although I had studied in English and I speak it, we culturally process messages differently. The course helped me understand this,” notes Fahad.
Securing no work in his field, Fahad found part-time security jobs and Saba worked part-time too, but they were struggling to meet their expenses. The couple decided Edmonton offered more opportunities and the family relocated.
Fahad connected with community groups assisting internationally trained professionals and received a loan from Windmill Microlending to enroll in the Business Analyst Certificate program at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He attended part-time while working 60 hours a week as a security and surveillance officer. “It was an excellent opportunity to gain Canadian education and to network with people in that industry,” says Fahad. The course also contributed to the professional development units Fahad required for his goal of obtaining his Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) designation.
Fahad is now working as a business analyst with the City of Edmonton-Current Planning Branch. Additionally, he is contributing within the Business Analyst community and is on the volunteer board of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Edmonton chapter, as Vice President Communications. “Windmill was really great. An extremely pleasant person helped me and I cannot believe how well the process went. It was an exceptionally good experience.”
I am very optimistic and happy,” says Fahad, now a proud father of two sons. “Throughout this journey I got incredible and extraordinary support from my wife. I am working in my field now because of her help. She took care of us all and it made a huge difference.”