Career Pathways: Finding a New Path with Guita MovallaliPosted on April 24, 2023
Career Pathways is a Schulich ExecEd ongoing series showcasing some of our talented alumni. Everyone has something interesting and insightful to share, from independent business owners to corporate managers. We want to bring their stories to life.
Guita Movallali came to Canada from Iran in July 2021, ready for a new start. Back home, she was a University Professor with a PhD in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Audiology. Guita also had her own clinic, working primarily with deaf children and children with other disabilities. Unfortunately, her credentials were not recognized in Canada so she could not continue her practice. A researcher by trade, Guita began to search for programs that would help her start a new career in Canada.
The Starting Point
After being connected to Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto (NEW), Guita found the Sister2Sister Advanced Leadership Program (ALP), a six-month skills and leadership development program that focuses on bridging the gap between employer needs and newcomer women’s skills. This program was created in partnership with Schulich ExecEd, and funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
The focus of the Sister2Sister ALP is the customized Foundational Project Management certificate, a highly condensed 3-month certification that provides go-to strategic market plans, employment readiness, and career coaching at Schulich ExecEd. Sisters in the program will be matched with a leadership and career coach to build their leadership capacity and support their job-search strategies. At the end of the course, applicants complete a 3-month paid internship through Schulich ExecEd’s robust partner network.
“I registered immediately,” laughs Guita. “I was really intrigued by the internship option at the end of the program. I wanted to see what it would be like to actually work in the field.”
Guita began her first three months of virtual education focusing on skills and professional development training.
“My instructor Cindy was amazing; she was one of the best instructors that I’ve had in Canada,” says Guita. “I’ve taken many programs over the years, but this one was different. Cindy really understood me, because she was once a newcomer to Canada just like us.”
This unique program also provided an opportunity for Guita to build her professional network in Canada, surrounding her with professors, employers, and a group of women in a similar position as her.
“This program was great for networking. All the women were so nice,” Guita explains. “We made a WhatsApp group during the program, and we still use it to connect.”
A New Path Forward
Since the Sisters2Sister ALP launched in the Summer of 2022, Schulich ExecEd has helped create direct pathways to the Canadian labour market for 75 immigrant and refugee women, seeing more than 84% of the pilot program graduates secure employment in line with their previous skills.
“Taking this program helped me find a new career path,” explains Guita. “When I made my first business plan, I started to think about other opportunities. For the first time, I started to believe that I could do something else.”
Guita has completed two additional programs since finishing the Sisters2Sister ALP at Schulich ExecEd. She encourages anyone who is interested to join the program, and wants other newcomer women in Ontario to find their path with the same levels of support she received.
We want to thank Guita again for taking the time to chat with us about the Career Pathways series. If you’re interested in learning more about Schulich ExecEd’s partnership with Sisters2Sister ALP, you can read more about it here as well as here.
Not sure what program is right for you? Our expert advisors can help. Talk to a Schulich ExecEd advisor today.