Graduating with honours in commerce and statistics, followed by an MBA, Savita has a unique way of seeing the world through numbers. After working as a business transformation consultant for one of the big-4 international consulting firms for a few years, Savita founded her own boutique consulting practice developing content marketing in Pune, a research and development hub in India. The company grew organically to a 40-person business with local and international clients. Pressure was running high, and burnout was starting to set-in. With her immediate family in Canada, she considered relocating there. Thanks to the success of a large project with a local client, Savita was able to keep her team intact as they were absorbed by her client.
Her first step upon arrival in Canada was to get her credentials and experience recognized. Despite her academic distinctions and awards, her degrees were not recognized by the academic evaluation agency. Similarly, as a sole-proprietor of her business, irrespective of its success, she was considered a freelancer, and thus her experience went unrecognized. Faced with this hard reality, but determined to move forward, Savita seized the opportunity to start with a clean slate and to recreate her professional self.
Recognizing that her strength was in building relationships, she looked for entry level positions in account management, despite being overqualified. She applied to over 90 positions and had 26 interviews. They were all very positive, with multiple 2nd and 3rd interviews, however in the end she was never offered a job. Savita did not let those disappointments hold her back. Instead, she chose to see them as a learning opportunity through full cultural immersion. She was able to gain insight into the subtle cultural differences which she felt was the essence of the “Canadian experience.” She focused on establishing connections, meeting people, volunteering, and/or working in retail, which gave her the opportunity to observe, learn and understand the cultural values, behaviors, and communication styles. This gave her insights on how people make decisions, how they buy, what’s important to them etc. This immersion, she felt, was the most valuable in helping her land the first offer in her field in just under six months.
Photography: Creative Commons