My name is Fransisca Tjandra and I am from Indonesia. I graduated from a well-known secretarial college in my country and worked as secretary during the first year of my career. I spent most of my time working in the retail business for high fashion brands such as Emporio Armani, Issey Miyake, Manolo Blahnik and Gucci as a Brand Manager which enabled me to travel and meet new people from different countries.
In 2011, my family moved to Canada in order to provide me with a better education and future for our children. Canada offers a lot of good universities, so we thought it would be a good experience for our children to get the education from world-class universities.
When we arrived in Canada, we spent the first few days looking for school for my children and to register them. We were asked to get our children assessed before they can come to school and that was when I got to know about Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services (Polycultural). I met Doris Hinscapie, one of the Settlement Counsellors, at the Assessment Centre.
Later, I was also introduced to Sherry Abdelmessih, a Settlement Worker from Polycultural, at my children’s School’s Open House. Sherry contacted me whenever she had an event at my children’s school, which included events such as Financial Literacy, Job Search Workshops and Tax Reporting.
In November 2012, I joined the LINC Program at Polycultural’s Sheridan Centre location. After I finished my LINC Program, I came to Snezana Gabric, Program Manager, and asked her whether there was an opportunity for me to volunteer within their organization. Snezana gave me the opportunity to help her with Administration, which aligned with my education and past working experience. Today, I continue to volunteer with Polycultural and have been given the opportunity to meet my Canadian work experience requirement and most of all, I like volunteering with their organization.
Written by: Fransisca Tjandra