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Benefiting from International Experience

by Chris Sellers
Successful client at his construction job

Syed Quli’s steely determination, strong work ethic, positive attitude and friendly personality have served him well throughout his adventurous career.

A civil engineer by training, Syed spent more than ten years working on design, build and civil construction projects in India. While he could have comfortably (if you call working in 50°C heat comfortable) stayed for many more years, Syed moved to United Arab Emirates where he worked for six years including as an Operations Manager for an oilfield infrastructure project in Abu Dhabi. In July 2013, he and his wife Rubina decided to start their next adventure in Canada.

Settling in Guelph, Ontario, he faced the challenges many immigrants face. “It is very challenging finding work in your field when you first come to a country,” recalled Syed. “There can be issues with languages and workplace cultures, and you do not have a network of people to connect to. In my case, my engineering qualifications are not recognized here, so I took some courses and joined groups and business associations to meet professionals and get their advice.”

Despite a discouraging lack of response to almost 200 applications, Syed remained determined to find a relevant job. “Canada welcomed me and I can only truly contribute if I find work in the same field as my education and experience.”
Motivated to find even a small job in his field from which he can grow, Syed came to Lutherwood’s Guelph office. “The people at Lutherwood offered me a truly positive experience. They listened to me and offered great advice.” Through the Job Search Workshop, he learned more about the Canadian workplace, how to look for work and gained access to financial support to further his professional development. In the Mentorship program he met a local professional engineer who connected him into the local network. Extremely excited by a Construction Supervisor posting in Toronto, Syed asked Lutherwood to help him prepare for a rigorous four-part hiring process. Months later, he was selected out of 400 applicants.

Today, with his career on track, Syed volunteers at OACETT (Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists) helping students and immigrants get relevant, technical credentials. He is also working on his Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Engineering Technologist credentials. “I would not be successful if not for my wife, my mentor and the exceptional Lutherwood team,” he concluded.