As we gear up for the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program 2019-2020, we want to take a moment to reflect upon the accomplishments of some of our amazing clients who participated in previous competition years and were successfully placed as interns in the public sector. One of them, Klodiana Puro, talks about how the FIN Program shaped her life and career in Canada. Thank you Klodiana for sharing your inspiring story:
“My name is Klodiana Puro. I am originally from Albania but for the past 20 years I have lived, studied and worked in 9 different countries. My journey before arriving to Canada was quite eventful – with good and bad experiences.
I grew up in a dictatorship system where you were not allowed to be your own person. I passed my teens in an anarchist system which was failing my generation miserably, with no safety, or future for the educational system. Then, in my late teens I moved to Kosovo, a post-war country where I worked for more than 8 years in peacekeeping and humanitarian relief projects. This work experience provided me with the opportunity to grow professionally and gave me the platform to implement the best of who I am as a person – a strong, hardworking woman with a 24/7 ‘can do’ attitude who wants to work and be an advocate for vulnerable people.
I knew that I wanted to live in a country where its government and society uphold the same values I have, a place where I can create positive change with tangible results for the greater good. Canada is the place where I can simply be me, and where my voice and actions count for the best.
I became part of the FIN program in July 2017 when I was successfully placed in the pool of qualified candidates. Truthfully, I was pleasantly surprised when I learned about FIN for the first time, and how unique it is when it comes to employment opportunities.
You may not be aware, but most countries in the world do not allow permanent residents to work within their public service. The FIN Program and the Canadian Government gave me the opportunity to do so, with my permanent resident status.
Indeed, FIN is a program that deserves to be commended for its fairness and efficiency. Also, for the working partnerships FIN develops with important NGOs such as World Skills Employment Centre and OCISO.
I received my first FIN placement in October 2017 with the former Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs where I worked with the team that prepared Reports to Parliament. In July 2018, I received a casual contract with IRCC. I am part of the team that is organizing the International Metropolis Conference. It will be hosted in the National Capital Region in June 2019.
Often times, I am asked why someone with more than 15 years of international and NGO work experience is interested on working for the Canadian government. My answer is always the same: “because for me this government is different from others. Its objectives and values are in alignment with mine, and because it is a place where opportunities are boundless as long as you are open to learn, grow and work hard.”
Therefore, I am ready to bring change through policy development and implementation. I am ready to marry my many years of front line work experience with the world of policy. I want to deliver tangible results and not let brilliant ideas simmer for too long.
One of my driving mottos in life is the following: ‘as long as you are alive, you will always learn’. As a result, I always approach everything with an open mind. Even if I am working on something that at first glance may seem obsolete, or previously done multiple times. To me the opportunity to learn something valuable will always be present.
That being said, my FIN placements have taught me to extract previously gained skills and knowledge, and apply them within a new environment, new work culture and new application processes. As I merge the old and the new experiences, I realize that I get richer as I learn new perspectives, experiences and ways to apply something that I may have known for a long time. Similarly, I am able to bring significant skills and experiences gained by living and working in a multicultural environment, and my determination to uphold and promote human rights. It is a ‘win-win’ situation.
Being part of the FIN Program has been the first step toward my very ambitious goal of becoming successful and established in Canada. I see my FIN experience as the solid foundation toward building a fulfilling personal and professional life. Mainly because here in Canada I am allowed to be the person I want to be, and I am being offered the opportunity to grow while doing what I love to do.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to IRCC, the FIN team, volunteers, World Skills and OCISO.
To all of you, FIN interns, I wish you a successful journey as you strive to achieve your professional and personal goals.