Ambitious newcomer finds job with the help of MOSAIC mentors

November 2, 2015

The responsibility and discipline young Steve Park obtained from his time as an officer in the South Korean Army Special Forces, stayed with him throughout his life. It was those traits – and his positive attitude – that drove him to work hard in the sales and managerial positions he later held at companies such as Lotte and ING.It was on a bicycle trip from San Francisco to Whistler in 1999, that Steve decided he would live in Canada someday. But it wasn’t until this year that he finally immigrated to the country as a permanent resident.Managing Director Steve Park, Head of CFP Center in May, 2014.At 48 years old, he left his stable and lucrative job to start over in a brand new country, with a language that he hadn’t used in 15 years.“When I came to Canada this May, it was really stressful to use English,” Steve explained. But thanks to the Language Instruction for Newcomers in Canada (LINC) classes he signed up for, “I am slowly getting better and better.”The same attributes that lead to his success in South Korea, also motivated Steve to register for and attend nearly 30 job seminars from six different career and immigration service organizations.“They were very helpful, especially the WorkBC and MOSAIC seminars,” Steve said, adding that he enjoyed MOSAIC’s friendly atmosphere.In July, he connected with Hanna Lee from MOSAIC’s Workplace Connections Mentoring Program, who evaluated his skills and potential so she could help him with his job search.Steve soon realized that suitable résumé content in South Korea does not appeal to Canadian employers, so Hanna helped him find a different way to highlight his extensive experience in his résumé.When BMO Recruiting Consultant Donna Chan got in touch with MOSAIC to ask for a job candidate, Steve’s résumé was forwarded on to her and she set up a phone interview with him. To help Steve prepare, Hanna connected him with a mentor named Joel Chan – a retired certified public accountant.“He’s a really great guy who advised me and gave me a lot of useful feedback,” Steve said. Joel’s tips about his wording and tone of voice made Steve feel more prepared for the real phone interview questions.Hanna also helped him prepare for his additional in-person interviews with BMO by giving him useful handouts to study and connecting him with another mentor in the financial industry.“Hanna helped me a lot… she and Joel were the biggest contributors to my success,” Steve said.When it came time for the in-person interview, Steve brought along a binder of his past successes, which Donna said was impressive.“It was tangible information he could share about his professional experience,” she explained. She added that his work ethic and willingness to enter the company at a starting position (for training) was also helpful.Steve finally received a job offer on October 9. He is currently training for three months as a senior customer service representative, and will then become a BMO financial services manager.“I was excited and surprised when I found out,” Steve said. “I am really lucky… many of my LINC classmates are still looking for jobs.”His advice to other newcomers is to “believe in yourself… take advantage and be actively involved in all of the services, seminars and workshops you can get.”“I want to say thank you to MOSAIC,” Steve said. “I believe I couldn’t have gotten a job so much earlier than I expected to, without the dedicated services and support of MOSAIC and Hanna Lee.”