Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Peju Internal Auditor Windmill Microlending

Peju

Hoping to give her family a better life, Peju travelled over 11,000 kilometres to start a new life. However, not having a Canadian internal auditor certification made it challenging to get a job.

In the summer of 2016, Peju, a Chartered Accountant and Certified Information Systems Auditor, arrived in Canada from Nigeria with her husband and two children. Moving wasn’t an easy decision. Not only hadn’t Peju been in Canada before, but she was also leaving behind 15 years of work experience, mostly as an Internal Auditor. Her last role in Nigeria was as a Regional Controller at a Financial Institution, where she was responsible for managing the regulatory compliance and financial reports of nine branches.

Once in Calgary, Peju experienced culture shock. She couldn’t even imagine what her kids were struggling with, so she chose to stay home to help them settle in before starting to look for a job.

Shortly after arriving in Calgary, Peju applied to the Bridging the Gap for Foreign-Trained Accountants program at the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA). Starting in October 2016, for six months, she attended the program and was able to gain relevant Canadian work experience through a 10-week practicum. “The bridging program introduced me to the Canadian work environment and networking –something I wasn’t used to. They gave us lots of information that I felt was very useful,” points out Peju.

Before finishing the program, Peju received what she considered was a piece of sound advice, ‘Looking for a job is also a job, but don’t let the job search keep you indoors because you get more frustrated.’ Understanding that a job might not come easy because she was new to the country and didn’t have Canadian experience, Peju listened to this recommendation. She spent her days going to the library, volunteering and meeting people.

Once Peju was ready, she started searching and applying for jobs. Unfortunately, the job search wasn’t successful. After reading many job descriptions, she realized that the Audit, Internal Control and Compliance roles required the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification. At that point, it was clear to Peju that she needed it.

However, Peju decided to put this on hold and apply for transition jobs instead. She didn’t want to spend what was left of their savings.

One day, while talking to a colleague from Nigeria living in Toronto, he suggested getting a loan from Windmill Microlending. “I didn’t want to get a loan because I didn’t have a job, but he told me he got his loan even with no credit history. Two weeks after applying, my loan was approved,” remembers Peju.

At the same time, Peju registered for the CIA exam, consisting of three parts, through the Institute of Internal Auditors. She submitted the required documentation and started preparing for the papers.

The Windmill loan helped Peju pay for parts one and two of the exams’ fees and preparation materials, including books and interactive online tools.

In August 2017, after passing the CIA part 1 exam, Peju got her first job in Canada at a Financial Institution as an IT Risk Analyst. It was a one-year contract role. Within a few months into the role, the job became a permanent position before the year was up. Peju was ecstatic.

In 2018, Peju took part two of the CIA exam, but sadly, didn’t pass. She was working full time and juggling exams for two different certifications; the CIA and Payment Card Industry Professional (PCI ISA). Her company sponsored the latter. A few months later, Peju wrote and passed the remaining CIA exams and received her CIA designation in 2019.

In October 2019, after two years of working for the same company, Peju moved to a new position, Compliance Assurance Manager. She considers herself fortunate to be working in her field and advancing in her career, but Peju has one more goal she wants to achieve – climb the corporate ladder.

Peju’s advice to other skilled immigrants hoping to continue working in their profession in Canada is, “Know what you want and go for it. Don’t isolate yourself; talk to people. You have to be able to learn, unlearn, and re-learn. I understand it can be frustrating, especially when you have years of professional experience behind you, and you are told you have to start again. Don’t be afraid if you have to start again; all you need is to get your foot in.”


Every year, Windmill helps hundreds of immigrants by providing loans to help them pay for the licensing or training they need to achieve career success in Canada. Now more than ever Canada’s newcomers need our help.

Please consider a donation to Windmill today.

[gravityform id="8" title="false" description="false" ajax="true"]
<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_8' style='display:none'><div id='gf_8' class='gform_anchor' tabindex='-1'></div><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' target='gform_ajax_frame_8' id='gform_8' action='/success-story/peju/#gf_8'> <div class='gform_body'><ul id='gform_fields_8' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id='field_8_8' class='gfield gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label gfield_label_before_complex' >Please enter your name...<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_complex ginput_container no_prefix has_first_name no_middle_name has_last_name no_suffix gf_name_has_2 ginput_container_name' id='input_8_8'> <span id='input_8_8_3_container' class='name_first' > <input type='text' name='input_8.3' id='input_8_8_3' value='' aria-label='First name' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> <label for='input_8_8_3' >First</label> </span> <span id='input_8_8_6_container' class='name_last' > <input type='text' name='input_8.6' id='input_8_8_6' value='' aria-label='Last name' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> <label for='input_8_8_6' >Last</label> </span> </div></li><li id='field_8_2' class='gfield gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_8_2' >Please enter your email address...<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_2' id='input_8_2' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id='field_8_3' class='gfield gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_8_3' >What province to you live in?<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_3' id='input_8_3' class='large gfield_select' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false"><option value='Alberta' >Alberta</option><option value='British Columbia' >British Columbia</option><option value='Manitoba' >Manitoba</option><option value='New Brunswick' >New Brunswick</option><option value='Newfoundland and Labrador' >Newfoundland and Labrador</option><option value='Northwest Territories' >Northwest Territories</option><option value='Nova Scotia' >Nova Scotia</option><option value='Nunavut' >Nunavut</option><option value='Ontario' >Ontario</option><option value='Prince Edward Island' >Prince Edward Island</option><option value='Quebec' >Quebec</option><option value='Saskatchewan' >Saskatchewan</option><option value='Yukon' >Yukon</option><option value='Other' >Other</option></select></div></li><li id='field_8_4' class='gfield field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_8_4' >Please specify...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input data-inputname="please specify..." name='input_4' id='input_8_4' type='text' value='' class='large' aria-invalid="false" /></div></li><li id='field_8_5' class='gfield gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' >What are you most interested in to achieve career success?<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_radio'><ul class='gfield_radio' id='input_8_5'><li class='gchoice_8_5_0'><input name='input_5' type='radio' value='Licensing in your pre-immigration profession' id='choice_8_5_0' /><label for='choice_8_5_0' id='label_8_5_0'>Licensing in your pre-immigration profession</label></li><li class='gchoice_8_5_1'><input name='input_5' type='radio' value='Canadian education in your field' id='choice_8_5_1' /><label for='choice_8_5_1' id='label_8_5_1'>Canadian education in your field</label></li><li class='gchoice_8_5_2'><input name='input_5' type='radio' value='Career advancement/upskilling' id='choice_8_5_2' /><label for='choice_8_5_2' id='label_8_5_2'>Career advancement/upskilling</label></li><li class='gchoice_8_5_3'><input name='input_5' type='radio' value='Changing careers' id='choice_8_5_3' /><label for='choice_8_5_3' id='label_8_5_3'>Changing careers</label></li><li class='gchoice_8_5_4'><input name='input_5' type='radio' value='Relocating for better career opportunities' id='choice_8_5_4' /><label for='choice_8_5_4' id='label_8_5_4'>Relocating for better career opportunities</label></li></ul></div></li><li id='field_8_6' class='gfield gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' >Which of the following best applies to you?<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_radio'><ul class='gfield_radio' id='input_8_6'><li class='gchoice_8_6_0'><input name='input_6' type='radio' value='I am an immigrant' id='choice_8_6_0' /><label for='choice_8_6_0' id='label_8_6_0'>I am an immigrant</label></li><li class='gchoice_8_6_1'><input name='input_6' type='radio' value='I am a refugee/Protected Person' id='choice_8_6_1' /><label for='choice_8_6_1' id='label_8_6_1'>I am a refugee/Protected Person</label></li><li class='gchoice_8_6_2'><input name='input_6' type='radio' value='I work within the settlement sector' id='choice_8_6_2' /><label for='choice_8_6_2' id='label_8_6_2'>I work within the settlement sector</label></li></ul></div></li><li id='field_8_7' class='gfield gfield_html gfield_html_formatted gfield_no_follows_desc field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><style> .form-footer { text-align:center; font-size:16px; margin:20px 0 !important;} .form-footer p { margin-bottom:12px !important; } .form-footer a { display:inline-block; padding:5px; background-color:#71A850; border-radius:3px; color:#fff;} </style> <div class="form-footer"><p>For additional career success information, please follow us on social media</p> <p><a class="" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" title="Facebook" aria-label="Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/windmillcanada" target="_blank" data-kmt="1"><i class="lsicon lsicon-facebook"></i></a> <a class="" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" title="LinkedIn" aria-label="LinkedIn" href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/windmill-microlending/" target="_blank" data-kmt="1"><i class="lsicon lsicon-linkedin"></i></a> <a class="" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" title="Twitter" aria-label="Twitter" href="https://www.twitter.com/windmillcanada" target="_blank" data-kmt="1"><i class="lsicon lsicon-twitter"></i></a> <a class="" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" title="YouTube" aria-label="YouTube" href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu05FSusXmwZcb41MQGQJ6g?feature=emb_ch_name_ex" target="_blank" data-kmt="1"><i class="lsicon lsicon-youtube"></i></a></p></li><li id='field_8_9' class='gfield gform_validation_container field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_8_9' >Phone</label><div class='ginput_container'><input name='input_9' id='input_8_9' type='text' value='' /></div><div class='gfield_description' id='gfield_description_8_9'>This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.</div></li> </ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_8' class='gform_button button' value='Download the Guide' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_8"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_8"]=true; ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_8"]){return false;} window["gf_submitting_8"]=true; jQuery("#gform_8").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_ajax' value='form_id=8&amp;title=&amp;description=&amp;tabindex=0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_8' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='8' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_8' value='WyJbXSIsIjA0MWEwOGJmYjI2ZGZkZjM0ZDc2NjcyODYzNGM4Y2I3Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_8' id='gform_target_page_number_8' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_8' id='gform_source_page_number_8' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='' /> </div> </form> </div> <iframe style='display:none;width:0px;height:0px;' src='about:blank' name='gform_ajax_frame_8' id='gform_ajax_frame_8' title='This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.'></iframe> <script type='text/javascript'>jQuery(document).ready(function($){gformInitSpinner( 8, 'https://windmillmicrolending.org/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.gif' );jQuery('#gform_ajax_frame_8').on('load',function(){var contents = jQuery(this).contents().find('*').html();var is_postback = contents.indexOf('GF_AJAX_POSTBACK') >= 0;if(!is_postback){return;}var form_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_wrapper_8');var is_confirmation = jQuery(this).contents().find('#gform_confirmation_wrapper_8').length > 0;var is_redirect = contents.indexOf('gformRedirect(){') >= 0;var is_form = form_content.length > 0 && ! is_redirect && ! is_confirmation;var mt = parseInt(jQuery('html').css('margin-top'), 10) + parseInt(jQuery('body').css('margin-top'), 10) + 100;if(is_form){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_8').html(form_content.html());if(form_content.hasClass('gform_validation_error')){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_8').addClass('gform_validation_error');} else {jQuery('#gform_wrapper_8').removeClass('gform_validation_error');}setTimeout( function() { /* delay the scroll by 50 milliseconds to fix a bug in chrome */ jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gform_wrapper_8').offset().top - mt); }, 50 );if(window['gformInitDatepicker']) {gformInitDatepicker();}if(window['gformInitPriceFields']) {gformInitPriceFields();}var current_page = jQuery('#gform_source_page_number_8').val();gformInitSpinner( 8, 'https://windmillmicrolending.org/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.gif' );jQuery(document).trigger('gform_page_loaded', [8, current_page]);window['gf_submitting_8'] = false;}else if(!is_redirect){var confirmation_content = jQuery(this).contents().find('.GF_AJAX_POSTBACK').html();if(!confirmation_content){confirmation_content = contents;}setTimeout(function(){jQuery('#gform_wrapper_8').replaceWith(confirmation_content);jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery('#gf_8').offset().top - mt);jQuery(document).trigger('gform_confirmation_loaded', [8]);window['gf_submitting_8'] = false;}, 50);}else{jQuery('#gform_8').append(contents);if(window['gformRedirect']) {gformRedirect();}}jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [8, current_page]);} );} );</script><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_render', function(event, formId, currentPage){if(formId == 8) {gf_global["number_formats"][8] = {"8":{"price":false,"value":false},"2":{"price":false,"value":false},"3":{"price":false,"value":false},"4":{"price":false,"value":false},"5":{"price":false,"value":false},"6":{"price":false,"value":false},"7":{"price":false,"value":false},"9":{"price":false,"value":false}};if(window['jQuery']){if(!window['gf_form_conditional_logic'])window['gf_form_conditional_logic'] = new Array();window['gf_form_conditional_logic'][8] = { logic: { 4: {"field":{"actionType":"show","logicType":"all","rules":[{"fieldId":"3","operator":"is","value":"Other"}]},"nextButton":null,"section":null} }, dependents: { 4: [4] }, animation: 0, defaults: {"8":{"8.2":"","8.3":"","8.4":"","8.6":"","8.8":""}}, fields: {"8":[],"2":[],"3":[4],"4":[],"5":[],"6":[],"7":[],"9":[]} }; if(!window['gf_number_format'])window['gf_number_format'] = 'decimal_dot';jQuery(document).ready(function(){gf_apply_rules(8, [4], true);jQuery('#gform_wrapper_8').show();jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_conditional_logic', [8, null, true]);} );} } } );jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_conditional_logic', function(event, formId, fields, isInit){} );</script><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).ready(function(){jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [8, 1]) } ); </script>