The #Iam campaign: Renso Ronquillo

“Hello everyone, I am Renso currently working as a Geographic Information Systems professional in the Government of British Columbia and exploring the beautiful province. Before I landed the job in the provincial government, I completed the BSc of Geology in the Philippines, I migrated to Calgary, Alberta in 2017. As an immigrant it was challenging to adjust to a new culture, thinking of the life I established and left behind in my home country. It was even harder to finally launch my career as a new graduate in a foreign country, with the Energy industry at a recession. My story is not as special compared to every immigrant in Canada, but I want to encourage you that you’re not alone and things will get better, especially for someone who is driven.

I found no luck landing a job, due to the preference for Canadian universities graduate/work experience. It was overwhelming to go through a lot of processes just to get my university credentials accredited. I think it’s a flaw in the system and it needs to be refined, making the accreditation process easier and/or faster. I believe, by doing so Canada can tap into a great potential of the workforce that has been hidden for a long time and possibly revive the economy.

Because of the preference for the Canadian Institution, I decided to take a Bachelor of Applied GIS program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2018 and became a student leader of the GIS club. If you are choosing a program and institution, first, assess which one will best complement your current skills and the one that you’ll enjoy. I have also learned, later on, that companies nowadays prefer someone with a Technological diploma as graduates have industry-ready skills. It was then I realized that going to school was the best decision I’ve made.

Also, during the program having a good circle of friends comes a long way! They’ve helped me excel at school, improve my people skills as well as my networking skills during our year together. In finding my practicum, I listened to a podcast “Work-life of Adam Grant” and it was really helpful, especially for anyone working or looking to start their career. The most valuable themes I remember from the podcast are: “Value doesn’t come just from mere experience…” and “The power of diversity in the workplace.” I then applied this knowledge in my job interview for the Government of British Columbia and impressed the panel especially showing them my people skills. I got employed and met a lot of amazing people along the way.

I continue to show my value as a young professional and the importance of diversity. Diversity helps to have various views of a problem and delivers innovative and unique solutions that will improve our services to British Columbia.

Thank you for reading my story! I would, also, like to thank ‘The Inclusion Project’ for being a medium to share the voices of minorities in Canada!”