1) When did you arrive in Winnipeg? How was your experience as a new immigrant?
We arrived in August 2004. As an optimist and coming from a land, where the people are resilient to adversity, it was easy for me adjusting to a new life in a place unlike home. Winnipeg in general is a smaller, friendlier, safer and has a slower pace of life than in the Philippines. The most challenging aspect for me in adjusting was looking for the job that I would really love.
2) One of the challenges that new immigrants face is getting their first Canadian work experience and reference. Can you share to us how did you get your first job? And was it related to your Philippine educational background or work experience?
I remember calling all the architectural firms in the yellow pages and leaving them a voicemail expressing my willingness to work for them pro bono for 2 weeks, just to let them gauge my professional capacity. I got a call back after 13 hours and got hired the following day. I am fortunate to land my first job in Canada as an Architectural Technologist.
3) What made you decide to pursue your professional designation?
The challenge of getting it and the vision that I can accomplish it.
4) What are the processes you have to go through in order to become a registered architect? How long did it take?
The first step was to get my academic credentials accredited by my profession’s corresponding accreditation body, which is the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (www.cacb.ca). After getting certified, I had to apply as an intern member with the Manitoba Architects Association (www.mbarchitects.org). Upon completion of the mandatory hours of experience, I was allowed to write the exams for the Architects Registration (www.exac.ca).
It took me more than 7 years to become a registered architect.
5) What advice would you like to give other Filipino architects, who are planning to migrate to Winnipeg?
Preparation. More preparation always leads to better execution. This is why I always encourage friends to start their career path while they’re still in the Philippines.