Jeunice’s Tips on Working Part-Time in Canada While Studying and How to Get Hired

Jeunice Moral is a Filipino International student who is pursuing a Co-Op Diploma in Business Management with Specializations in Hospitality Management in Vancouver City, BC. A Cooperative education or Co-Op program has two parts: classroom-based teaching and paid practical work experience. Co-Op programs are a good option for students who are looking for affordable tuition and want to learn a specialization in a short time to readily join the professional world. “I want to refresh my knowledge in my chosen field and my long-term aim is to be a permanent resident, then be a citizen in Canada. Hoping and praying that I can bring my family here too, in the future.” – Jeunice.

International students taking a Co-Op program can also work an additional 20 hours per week during their academic term, and full-time during the practical work experience part. Plenty of international students take the opportunity to work part-time while studying not only to earn extra money but to get ahead and build Canadian work experience and prepare them even before they graduate – Jeunice is one of these students, “I work as a Pastry Cook in a fine dining restaurant in downtown Vancouver. I prepare cakes, pastries, garnishes, ganache, creams, etc. I also plate ala carte desserts.”

Working in Canada as an International Student According to Jeunice:

Why did you want to work? 

“One thing is for sure, I wanted to earn the money while I am studying because even though i live with my aunt and basically my rent and food is free, I also want to be able to start a good financial standing in Canada. Also, I do not want to lose touch with my culinary skills, I graduated BS Hospitality Management in Polytechnic University of the Philippines last 2015. I had my hotel internships in Dusit Thani and Sofitel in their culinary department. I worked in United Arab Emirates and in an international cruise line company as a Pastry Cook. I wanted to gain international education and also the opportunity of building a brand new life in Canada.” 

How did you find the job? 

“I use one of the mainstream job search app, indeed.ca, it is one of the most popular job search app and they had many listings. I just refined my search and made it fit for my background. I have always wanted to be a pastry chef, as influenced by my mom who runs her own pastry business.”

How was the job interview? 

“As an international student who just landed in Canada less than a month ago, I was of course a bit nervous, but the executive chef who interviewed me was very pleasant. He asked me about my work experience, and if I know about the position I am applying for. As I have previous work experience, I was able to answer confidently. One question I wasn’t expecting and honestly a bit shy to answer is when he asked me about my expected salary. I wasn’t asking for too much but he was generous to give me a starting wage higher than the minimum wage in BC to my surprise.”

What were the requirements they asked you before starting the job? 

“They asked me a copy of my study permit, resume, SIN, passport, bank details and schedule. They also asked me for my email and set me up for a scheduling app which we use in the restaurant.”

How do you find working in Canada? 

“I honestly enjoy my work, besides that it is my passion, I enjoy the environment, my coworkers are friendly and supportive. I work with high class chef and they mentor me,I learn a lot from them. They accommodate my schedule so I have healthy work life balance, because I worked in a cruise ship before wherein we did not have any days off for the duration of my contract. This is why I appreciate my work in Canada more.”

Any advice for international students? 

“Read, research, and plan before choosing your school and city where you will live. You must consider a lot of things like if your school offers PGWP, if the program you want is in demand in Canada, living expenses and standard in your chosen city.”

CISM PH Tips to Land a Job in Canada as an International Student: 

  1. Update your resume in Canadian format. 
  2. Utilize job search engines (in no particular order): 

jobbank.ca

cismph.ca job search feature powered by jooble.ca

indeed.ca

monster.ca

glassdoor.ca

there are also free lance job and commission basis jobs international students can do and find in these apps: 

fiver.com

taskrabbit.com

upwork.com

3. Prepare for the interview

Do you know anything about the position you are applying for? 

Do you have work-related experience? (Preferably but usually not a requirement).

Do you know anything about the company you are applying for? 

4. Have the employment / onboarding documents ready:

A copy of your valid study permit

Copy of your SIN – Social Insurance Number

Copy of Passport or valid ID

Bank details (for payroll purposes)

Resume 

Class Schedule

How to increase your chances of landing a job in Canada with no job experience: 

Be Active in school organizations and student associations

Practice and learn through volunteering programs

Participate in school workshops, competitions, and seminars that you have an interest

Build networks and make friends, you can also get a job through referrals.

Widen your options, there are plenty of entry-level jobs you can get experience from, even if sometimes it is not in line with your career, what matters is that you start. 

Hope this helps! Happy job hunting!

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