Meet Felipe: Patience and Open-Mindedness
1. How do you like your job/business?
I like my job. But it’s not what I want to do, and what I want to do in the future. I like working with kids, but I’m going to school for Music Theatre. I love meeting new people and meeting the tourists. I have French groups and get to practice my French with them. It’s pretty fun. I work the ropes course. Whenever I have time, I like to take a look at the otters and other exhibits.
2. How is working different in Canada compared to where you were born?
I’ve only worked at the Aquatarium so far. I feel sometimes that in Brazil, what you have to do is what you have to do and that’s it. You just follow your job description. Here, I feel you’re being paid for that amount of time, and have to wear different hats, compared to what you were hired for. There are sometimes where there are things that you might not be comfortable with, and what you might not have the experience for, and that might be an issue.
3. How do you like your coworkers (past or present)?
In general they’re awesome. They’re very friendly. Not sure if it’s because it’s a summer job, based on my experience, everyone’s super friendly. I hung out with them at the breach outside of work even.
4. What has been your favourite job?
The Aquatarium. I’ve had some fun jobs before, I’ve worked in offices mostly, so the Aquatarium is better since I’m a performer. I get to play with kids and interact with different people.
5. What do you think could make your workplace, or Canadian workplaces in general, better?
Good management. Being very specific with your workers, and clear.
6. How did you find your job/start your business?
Before I started at the Aquatarium, I handed out my resume. I found this job because one of my colleagues at the College started working there two weeks before me, and posted on the College group chat that they were looking for people for more people for the summer.
7. What is your dream job?
Music Theatre. Broadway, big shows and big companies obviously. Going on a tour or something exciting like that That’s my goal after college.
8. Do you think Canadian schools prepare their students for the workplace?
I can only compare with my previous experiences with my studies in Music Theatre in Brazil with St. Lawrence College where I go now. They’re very committed to their students, they know exactly what the market wants and prepare us for them. I’ve been to some auditions before the summer break. I felt comfortable because I knew what they wanted and had been taught that after only one year even.
9. What do you think is most important for people to know/think about when working with immigrants?
I would say to be patient and open-minded. Especially when it comes to language barriers. And culture in a very broad sense. Some different customs, for example, in Brazil whenever you meet someone, it’s very common to hug and do the cheek kisses like in France. Even though I’ve been studying English since I was four, I still have questions and have to ask what things mean.
10. What supports do you know about that can help with finding jobs, starting businesses, or preparing for work?
SLC helps a lot, they have employment services etc. I have a counsellor in Brazil who still helps, she’s wonderful. The College has a student positions page. They have open ones for anyone too. Also, websites like Indeed that everyone knows. Specifically in this area, being a small town, the news goes around. My husband found his job through a social media posting from DBIA. There’s the EEC as well. Social media in general.
11. Has your current/past job changed your perspective on work/working in Canada or your birth country?
Now that I’m aware this is common in Canada to do things beyond what was originally written in the job posting, and that I can say no.