Today, in the “Life as a Canadian Immigrant” Series, we spoke to Temitope Balogun, also known as, “Teelng”. He talks about his experience of getting a job in Canada and how he was able to convince recruiters of his skills. Teelng has risen in his career to be a Tech Lead within just 3 years of being in Canada.
Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Temitope Balogun. If you want to make me feel cool about myself call me, “Teelng”. I’m a graduate of Computer Science from Bowen University, Iwo. I currently work as a Technical Lead at one of the top cybersecurity companies in North America. In my spare time, you will catch me rooting for Chelsea FC or playing computer games.
Where in Canada do you live and why this City?
Kitchener, located in the Waterloo region of Ontario. Kitchener – Waterloo is highly regarded as one of the emerging tech hubs in Canada some even go as far as calling it the “mini silicon valley”. The enormous tech potential and relatively reasonable cost of living attracted me to the city.
What were your first few months like in Canada? How easy was it for you to adapt?
Tough. From the cold to the culture shock. It was a brutal first few weeks, but as it is with every other clime, interacting with people and asking a lot of questions helped me settled in quickly. Also, Canadians are generally nice people so that was really helpful.
What field of work are you in and how is it different from practicing in this same field at home?
I currently work in the tech sector specifically cybersecurity. Even though I was in the tech sector in Nigeria, it took me a while to get accustomed to the terrain. I will say they are similar and also different. Similar because we use some of the same technology but the application of the technology is different. The work ethic is also distinct as you tend to work in small teams to achieve a specific set of deliverables.
As an immigrant in Canada, are there any major challenges you experienced/ still experiencing?
Not really. But one of the things I experienced as a new immigrant is the difficulty of getting a job without Canadian experience. Companies usually don’t want to give opportunities to candidates without local experience. The best way to address this is to be more aggressive with your applications, show recruiters that even though you don’t have the required experience, you are more than willing to learn and will catch up in no time.
What pathway brought you to Canada, and would you advise other intending immigrants to go through same?
I immigrated to Canada as a Permanent resident. It is a really good stream but I will advise potential immigrants to do their due diligence or seek professional consultation before embarking on the process.
What has been your biggest breakthrough since moving to Canada?
This is a tricky one and without being immodest, I will say that my rapid career growth (rising to be a tech lead within 3 years) is something I’m grateful to Canada for.