New country, new start

Nouveau pays, nouveau départ

Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
In Montreal, several training courses related to the trades of the future are offered, including by means of attestation of college studies (AEC).


Robotization, artificial intelligence, connected objects : new technologies will end thousands of workers to acquire new skills in the course of their career to keep pace or take advantage of the benefits. In this third of four articles on the many faces of the digital revolution, two immigrants tell of how they have chosen a profession of the future to make a new start.

Ten years ago, Silvia Garstea was not familiar with the Quebec, and she knew even less than it is in this canadian province located thousands of miles from home that it would eventually find its way.

At that time, the Moldovan specializes in statistical analysis. She first worked in a bank as a manager account, before becoming an economist, then a credit analyst for a lending institution to businesses. She loves her work, but begins to wonder what the future holds.

“I come from a pretty country, but it is small. The opportunities to grow and change something in her life are really limited, ” she said, speaking about Moldova, this State of 3.5 million people sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine.

When her husband and she decided to make a fresh start in another country, they simply do a Google search and fall a little bit by chance on Canada.

Nouveau pays, nouveau départ

Photo: Catherine Legault Duty
Silvia Garstea specializes in the Internet of things.

Landed in Quebec in 2012, Silvia has learnt French on his arrival, and expresses itself today with ease, despite her strong accent. “Initially, I asked myself what to do. My degree of statistics was not really recognized. I tried to find work, but it didn’t work “, she says, sitting in his apartment in the district of Villeray, not far from highway 40.

The thunderbolt

By returning to school, she has completed first training in drawing building to work in the field of construction, which is of interest for years — “It has always been my dream to create my own home,” she said.

She worked for eight months in an office of an engineer, but the heart is not there. She starts to look for another training that would allow him to harness the skills acquired in his former life, and she found it at the Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne.

I come from a pretty country, but it is small. The opportunities to grow and change something in her life are really limited.

— Silvia Garstea

When she discovers that he reserves the attestation of college studies (AEC) to become a specialist in Internet of things, it is love at first sight. “I said to myself :” this, this is what I want to do here “. All the courses corresponded to my expectations, my needs, my desires. “

The program allows him to use his knowledge of statistical modeling, while meeting its commitment to work with his hands. “I’m a handyman. I’m always looking for something to create. And for me, it was a superb discovery, ” she says, eyes suddenly lit up.

“Participate in the movement “

In his cohort of fifteen students, Silvia is one of the four women. The training is intensive, but it asks for more. In the context of a course she developed with her team a connected object that allows pregnant women to measure contractions and hospitals to plan the number of delivery rooms by receiving the data in real-time.

The evening and the end of the week, she took advantage of his free time to work on his project of ” hive connected “, another connected object that would allow beekeepers to reduce manipulations by obtaining a remote crucial data such as temperature, humidity, and the weight of their hives.

To 39 years, Silvia hope today landing his dream job — a position of developer-designer at the City of Montreal — in order to participate in the development of the ” smart city “, whether it be projects related to the environment or to road traffic. She also plans to begin to commercialize the ideas that are bubbling in his head.

“A few years ago, nobody knew what it was the Internet of things. Now, one hears of it everywhere. Really, it starts to move, and I would like to meet the challenges that present themselves, participate in the movement. “

Study to work

Ivan Kantabaze, him, has never really deviated from it, but his career took an unexpected turn when he fled Burundi in 2007 to immigrate to Quebec as a refugee.

After having studied computer science for two years in his home country, he quickly realized that his technical skills were not sufficient to get a job in the field. It, therefore, occupy positions in customer service in telecommunications companies, and then in 2016, he receives a tempting offer from a company that sells security services.

“After three months, they called me to tell me that they could not hold me. The sales were there, but it was not the case “, he remembers.

Nouveau pays, nouveau départ

Photo: Catherine Legault Duty
Ivan Kantabaze specializes in software quality.

Ivan finds himself in a cul-de-sac and decided to get out of returning to school. He arranges orientation and finds that it is still the only thing that really interested. It presents a multitude of information sessions for choosing the right program, but it is the first one that speaks the most. The one on the ACS in software quality, at the Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne.

“What interested me, it is the business itself, the critical sense necessary, employment opportunities, lists there. When I looked at the placement rates of students, it was 100 %, so I was sure to be able to achieve my goal, which was to have a job. So I went for it. “

Continue to learn

The return to school was not easy, since now, Ivan is a father of three children. “For a year, you are going to your family because what are the studies that pass before, but you want that in the end, the sacrifice worthwhile, so you want to put the effort to be good in what you are going to do. “

In the end, his year of hard work bears fruit and allows him to land a position within the software development company Askida, who first took him in as an intern. Here, his job is to create tests to evaluate the different features of the software at each stage of their development, in order to meet the needs of customers.

Installed in the offices of the company located in Old Montreal, it is happy to have found a company which matches his personal and professional values “. With time, he has taken a liking to programming, which allows him to automate the tests he designs, rather than doing it manually. And he does not want to stay there.

“The advantage of our field is that we never finish to learn. I want to continue to discover everything concerning the language of the programming to go even further “, lance-t-il, referring to the possibility of following a different course of the evening, one of these days.

Ce text is part of our “Outlook” section.

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