Brazilian student seizes the opportunity by volunteering
LUCAS SOCIO - Many Brazilians come to Vancouver with the intention to perfect their English and acquire work experience. Sometimes this work experience opens doors in the Canadian market, other times it gives a competitive edge in the Brazilian job market when they return.
However, not everyone has the proper documentation to work legally, while others are still struggling with the English language.
Physiotherapist Silvia Ferreira learned that volunteering was the ideal way to gain experience in Canada even without the so-desired work visa.
Volunteer work in Canada is equally valuable as an internship and could lead to many other opportunities.
“People here value volunteer work a lot. I met people who have paid jobs that still volunteer their time,” explained Ferreira.
“I am currently volunteering at Ten Thousand Villages and I volunteered for BrazilFest, which was very fulfilling because I was able to help others and to network with people with common interests.”
Her manager, Arnaldo Shimura, started as a volunteer when he first came to Canada and today he manages two locations.
“I volunteered for four months at the store until my work visa was issued. Once I had it, they recognized my hard work and effort and promoted me until I became the manager of these two locations.”
Volunteer coordinator of the Brazilfest, Emília Coutinho, explains the importance of being involved in the community as a volunteer.
“Volunteering in Vancouver is almost ‘required’ to get into the job market. Brazilians can sometimes take a while to understand this concept. But soon they realize that volunteering is the way to go, not only to get job opportunities, but also to network”.