An Inspiring Mentor-Mentee Story

When Sunny relocated to Canada in September 2022, his goal was to continue working in the supply chain industry. He was surprised to learn that his work experience back home did not resonate with Canadian employers.

A Newcomer's Journey,Mentorship,Settlement and Life in Canada,Windmill Mentorship Program

December 6, 2023

When Sunny relocated to Canada in September 2022, his goal was to continue working in the supply chain industry. He was surprised to learn that his work experience back home did not resonate with Canadian employers. 

One of the biggest challenges for Sunny was adapting to the Canadian weather. It was a lot colder than it was in his home country of Nigeria. He didn’t expect the weather to be such an adjustment for him. 

Sunny worked in the supply chain/procurement sector in Nigeria for many years and thought his experience would help him get a job in procurement quickly. He soon realized that he would need to get Canadian experience if he wanted to continue working in the procurement field. “It was frustrating to realize that my experience didn’t count. I was starting from the bottom,” Sunny says. 

Soon afterwards, a friend recommended Windmill Microlending to him. Sunny needed financial support to upskill and a Windmill loan seemed like an affordable way to pay for it.  He wanted to use the loan to get his SCMP Designation in Procurement, Contracts Management and Supply Chain Management from Supply Chain Canada

He was surprised at how easy and stress-free it was to apply for a Windmill loan. Once his loan was approved, he was able to benefit from other supports at Windmill such as financial literacy training and mentorship.  

He decided to join The Windmill Mentorship Program to network, broaden his knowledge of the Canadian supply chain job market and find out how he could get a role in the supply chain/procurement sector.  

His mentor, Brad, was eager to help him navigate the job market. Brad grew up in Calgary but worked in different parts of Canada during his career. For the past 18 years, he has been based in Toronto.  

Brad learned about Windmill Microlending a few years ago. Windmill’s mission really resonated with him. He decided to become a mentor as a way to give back to newcomers in his field. 

It wasn’t until last year that I learned of the mentorship program as I just finished going through a career transition myself.  I was fortunate to have professional help in navigating the job market.  Becoming a mentor seemed like the perfect opportunity to share those learnings, provide guidance from my own professional experience in Canada and learn from newcomers that have chosen Canada as their new home,” Brad says. 

Sunny really benefitted from Brad’s expertise. He was surprised at how supportive Brad was and how well they worked together to help Sunny achieve his goal of securing a supply chain/procurement role. “We worked on my resume to fit into the Canadian job market, personalized my experience and discussed basic interview tips,” Sunny remembers. “Brad encouraged me to stay focused.” 

Brad also learned a lot from being a Windmill mentor. He thought his role would just be to offer advice and support, but he has gained so many new skills. “I’ve grown my empathy, understanding and appreciation for those who have had the courage to move to Canada and start over, despite having education and valuable experience from abroad.” 

I’ve also learned it is not easy to convey these skills when you are new to a country with a different job market, different culture and potentially different first language.  Knowing immigration plays an important role in addressing Canada’s skilled labour gap, there is a lot more support needed to help improve the process and speed of getting re-employed in Canada,” Brad says. 

Brad and Sunny both feel that mentorship is an important resource for newcomers to utilize. It can be overwhelming to navigate the job market. “My focus is to bring out my mentee’s skills on LinkedIn, resumes and in interview preparation. I have been matched with mentees in roles/industries I can relate to and this helps me provide them the perspective of the hiring manager and what to expect,” states Brad. 

Participating in a mentorship program takes time and commitment, but for Sunny it has been a very worthwhile investment. He has become much more comfortable with applying for roles in Canada and networking on LinkedIn. 

Brad believes that all newcomers would benefit from joining The Windmill Mentorship Program. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” he says. “You’ll be surprised by people’s generosity in providing time and sharing experience.” 

Learn more about The Windmill Mentorship Program here

For more information about how to become a mentor or mentee, email 

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