Testimonials | Share your experience!

Testimonials | Share your experience!2019-10-16T16:10:36-04:00

OCISO is an amazing organization that offers a number of different programs to immigrants and refugees to support them in their journey to make Canada their home.

The organization is driven by dedicated and passionate employees, generous and energetic volunteers and committed community partners and donors. I feel very lucky to have been placed with OCISO.

I hope to get more involved with the Friends of the Family program. It is a very special program that enriches the lives of everyone involved.

Demand for volunteer groups (groups of friends or a family) is very high so if you are Ottawa-based and want to get to know your city better, make new friends, stay active and learn about different cultures you should consider volunteering with Friends of the Family.

Becky Zentner-Barrett

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Anonymous
Government of Canada
4 days ago

The OCISO mentorship program is a very useful and effective program for newcomers. It helps me to connect with people with similar backgrounds. I am very thankful to OCISO for all the information, service and support they provided. Especially, I want to give thanks to Tonya. She is very helpful and kind person. I appreciate her good work and wish her success in her future endeavors.

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Anonymous
3 weeks ago

The Mentorship Program has really been helpful. Networking never used to be my thing, but after the Mentorship Program, it’s not a problem anymore. Thanks to the amazing team in OCISCO!

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Yara Rossi
Settlement Worker
1 month ago

I joined the Mentorship Program and I was assigned a Mentor who has experience in working in the migration field. We used to meet every couple of weeks to discuss about my Career Growth, to tailor my Cover letter and my Resume. My Mentor was very helpful and I would like to express my gratitude for all her efforts and time. Furthermore, I would like to thank the whole OCISO Mentorship Program team for always keeping in touch and for supporting me. The OCISO Mentorship Program Facilitator organized an orientation session with other fellow mentees in the beginning of the program. It was a great opportunity to meet other mentees, to learn more about the process and the idea of having a mentor as well as to connect with other mentees. The team also arranged a meeting with a Connector as part of the OCISO Connector Program. I recommend the OCISO Mentorship Program as a professional body for any newcomer who is keen to connect with professionals.

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Anonymous
Federal government
2 months ago

I was matched to a great mentor, from the same government department where I was working, so that my mentor’s advice and guidance were 100% applicable to my experience. Together we made my resume clearer and more logically structured. My mentor also gave me some advice on writing my job applications for government positions.

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Anonymous
2 months ago

The OCISO team were very helpful in providing me with insights and opportunities to connect with people with similar backgrounds. They were very kind and thoughtful, constantly sending me feedback, training workshop and employment opportunities. I got to meet people who shared their stories and help me keep a positive outlook on the future. Thank you to all the OSICO Team and specially to Michelle, Rana and Jasmine for their help and support. Mentee - Exited to find employment within my field.

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Anonymous
2 months ago

The Mentorship program is very helpful for newcomers. Thank you, Michelle and the rest of the staff, for your time and help. I would like also to thank my mentor.She gave me good advice and directed me in the field that better matched my experience. She reviewed my resume and always had time to answer any of my questions.

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Kassas Samer
2 months ago

The OCISO Mentorship Program is a very useful program, well supervised and guided by a great team. Also a big THANK YOU word and appreciation to Ms. Michelle LaBarre Blouin & Ms. Rana Kais for their dedication and support. Kassas Samer - Mentee

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Anonymous
2 months ago

The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort from everyone. Every member of OCISO is appreciated.

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Michelle Ela
Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada
2 months ago

I can affirm that the services that I’ve received were the ones needed for me to be successful in securing a position. All is done to make us better candidates and to improve on the way we present ourselves to interviewers and on how to respond to questions. I have learned that every detail counts in the presence of an interviewer. I now have many tools to help me to work my way up. I have built during this process and throughout the meetings with my mentor the confidence that I can make it far within the government. I also appreciate the fact that I can still benefit from some programs to help me to build my professional network.

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Anonymous
Mentee - Exited to Employment within My Field
3 months ago

This program gave me more confidence because I understood that former people that attended to this program found employment in the short time.

The program was an opportunity for me to meet different people that have the same situation as me and we can share our knowledge and experiences. I gained a good understanding about the IT field and workplace in Canada and also I built a good resume and cover letter that demonstrated my strengths.

Finally, whenever I needed help or questions to ask about the job search process, I could communicate with my mentor easily and all the time he gave me so many useful hints that helped me so much.

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Nabil Nehar
Mentee - Exited to Employment: JPL Construction - Quality Manager - Architecture Works
3 months ago

I want to tell you how much I appreciated the help; support and recommendations you provided me indeed Anna really opened my eyes to the Canadian market and the strategy to follow to reach my goal.

You have all my gratitude for this decisive support in my journey.

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Mahtab Keshmiri
Mentee - exited to Employed: GEOS Language School - ESL Teacher
3 months ago

OCISO is welcoming open arms to those who feel disappointed, lost, homesick and remorseful. It reminds people of their good qualities and help them establish their paths in their new home. It is a breathing testimony that proves kind and caring people are still alive.

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Daniel Azike
Shopify
3 months ago

The OCISO Mentorship Program is a really effective and valuable service. As a mentee, you get the best from the program when you have an open mind to process the advice and information you receive from the OCISO team and the mentors. My mentor gave me some valuable last minute advice that further boosted my confidence going into my final interview.

Daniel Azike - Mentee - exited to employment as a Product Manager.

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Arsène
Government of Canada
3 months ago

I just wanted to share a quick note and let you know that the time I spent with you and my mentor was a great one and very beneficial.
In fact, I have improved in many aspects such as:
- My resume now is more professional;
- I had a privileged to meet with one manager for an informational interview;
- I improved on how to answer interview questions more efficiently;
- I had a significant help from my mentor while preparing for my exams;
- …
I count it a privilege to have been admitted in this program provided by OCISO.
Thank you for your help.

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Anonymous
Government of Canada
4 months ago

When you are a skilled worker and you move to Canada, everything seems like paradise until you apply for 50 jobs without getting a response and you have no clue why. Having someone explain to you what the expectations are and support you through the adjustment period made all the difference for me. My mentor, having lived in many countries became my cultural translator. He was patient through my long winding questions on pretty much everything, and took the time to proof read my application letter and my CV before I applied, and also explained in great detail the key competencies needed to work in the Canadian Public Service. He also groomed me not only for excellence at my job, but also took it upon himself to prepare me for future leadership positons. He saw in me, what I did not know I was capable of. As a visible minority woman, I lived in fear of never being good enough like the “others”, my mentor showed me I was not only good enough, but actually brought a rare set of talent and passion due to all my past experiences in conflict zones that would be invaluable to policy makers. Thank you OCISO for matching me with the best mentor ever!

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Anonymous
Government of Canada
4 months ago

When you are a skilled worker and you move to Canada, everything seems like paradise until you apply for 50 jobs without getting a response and you have no clue why. Having someone explain to you what the expectations are and support you through the adjustment period made all the difference for me. My mentor, having lived in many countries became my cultural translator. He was patient through my long winding questions on pretty much everything, and took the time to proof read my application letter and my CV before I applied, and also explained in great detail the key competencies needed to work in the Canadian Public Service. He also groomed me not only for excellence at my job, but also took it upon himself to prepare me for future leadership positons. He saw in me, what I did not know I was capable of. As a visible minority woman, I lived in fear of never being good enough like the “others”, my mentor showed me I was not only good enough, but actually brought a rare set of talent and passion due to all my past experiences in conflict zones that would be invaluable to policy makers. Thank you OCISO for matching me with the best mentor ever!

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Anonymous
Government of Canada
5 months ago

The FIN Mentorship Program was crucial in helping me to understand work culture within the public sector. First of all I would like to thank FIN Mentorship Program Facilitator, Tonya Pomerantz, for her passion and dedication to helping newcomers to Canada. And secondly my mentor for being extremely supportive and encouraging. During our regular meetings she provided guidance on the subjects of job application, communication, conflict resolution, negotiations and more. I am very grateful for such amazing support provided by my mentor and FIN Mentorship Program Facilitator.

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Samer Kassas
HR Advisor/ Children Aid Society
6 months ago

OCISO mentorship is a very useful program, well supervised and guided by a great team. Also a big THANK YOU to Ms. Michelle LaBarre Blouin & Ms. Rana Kais for their support all the time, advanced organizational skills and great follow up talents.

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Anonymous
Teacher Assistant - Carleton university
7 months ago

I believed that the OCISO Mentorship Program was more than I expected and my joy knew no bounds. I was assigned a Mentor who is a licensed electrical engineer working in a reputed firm in Ottawa. We used to meet every 2 weeks to discuss about my Career Growth & Job Search. My Mentor was really helpful and I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for all his efforts and time. He not only
helped me in tailoring my Resume and Cover Letter but also mentioned about the prospect of owning visiting cards which was very helpful while attending various job fairs. He helped me explore new job searching techniques and also gave me contact numbers of different HRs & recruiting firms. He also made me understand the importance of networking and the use of linkedin and also gave me insight into the P.Eng License process. I was eligible to be enrolled as an Engineer in Training (EIT) and I had to pay no fees for the licensing process as it was free to apply for the 1st 6 months. He also made me understand the possibility and scope of working as a research assistant or teaching assistant in University as I had 5 years prior teaching experience. Apart from my Mentor, I would also like to thank my OCISO Mentorship Program Facilitators for always keeping in touch with me. They gave me an orientation session with other fellow mentees in the beginning of the program. I was able to befriend with some of the mentees and we used to keep tabs in how we were progressing in our job search. I also got a one time opportunity to meet an Engineering Director of a reputed firm as part of the OCISO
Connector Program. Overall, I had a very good experience and the OCISO Mentorship Program. was definitely worth my time in seeking employment.

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Moeen Asif
Food Processing Skills Canada
10 months ago

I am very thankful for all the support and help that OCISO has provided. They were very resourceful in finding the right Mentor and workshops to prepare people like me to get jobs in the right fit and industry.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Michelle, Rana, Jasmine and other OCISO staff that were always available and supportive. All staff were motivating and highly professional during our collaboration. I was consistently impressed with their attitude from the first day. I found OCISO environment very friendly. I gained very valuable information and had a very positive experience throughout the stay.

I was recruited by Food Processing Skills Canada, thanks to my mentor, and I can tell that I always felt he was dedicated in finding me this job, I could talk to him like a friend but at the same time he always gave me very professional advice.

I highly recommend OCISO as a professional body for new immigrants.

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Mehdi Addardouri
Caisse Dejardins
10 months ago

Being a part of the OCISO Mentorship Program has been an eye-opening experience and a crucial step in my job search process. The program is tailored to gain a better understanding of the workplace culture. Rana and Michelle are dedicated and passionate and the matching between me and my mentor was a very good fit. I would say that the program is a must for any newcomer willing to find a job in Ottawa.

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Doreen Katto
Program Coordinator- Mathew House
11 months ago

I participated in a couple of great programs which supported me in many different ways, but the OCISO Career Mentoring Program was the piece that I needed to complete the puzzle. I was very fortunate toparticipate in this program where I was matched with an amazing mentor. My mentor was a perfect match, we had similar professional background and professional interests. She took personal interest to understand me, define the critical areas where I needed support, and availed herself to meet me every
week to guide me in my job search. She helped me expand my professional network by introducing me to people she knew who were also willing to help. She also helped me define my focus to be able to prepare well and submit good applications. Before long, I was invited for an interview and she helped me do a mock interview and prepared me accordingly. Our 5th meeting happened after I had been offered a job in my profession. I recommend this program to every Internationally Trained Professional who is job seeking. It is possible to get a job in your profession. You just need someone to hold your hand and show you the way.

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Rafael
Health Canada
1 year ago

Tonya is an amazing person. She is very helpful, extremely kind and dedicated to the success of the mentee. Her approach and involvement with the whole process makes a huge difference. She provides a clear and engaging information session, tries to really understand the mentee’s career goals, looks carefully for mentors who might be a good fit with the mentee, introduces mentor and mentee and facilitates the first meeting, and ensures the mentorship is going smoothly. A big thanks to Tonya, the OCISO team, and to my mentor Sarah who has also been very helpful, knowledgeable, and created a great mentorship experience for me.

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Rama Al Safadi
Somali Centre for Family Services
1 year ago

Friends of the Family with Bonnie is an amazing program. I'm so proud to be a volunteer with her continues professional work to support newcomers in every little detail she do with passion and love

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Adélie
Health Canada
1 year ago

I had a great experience with OCISO’s Mentorship Program. I was quickly matched with a mentor who had a lot of experience in my field within the federal government. We had regular meetings and my mentor was always available to respond shortly to my emails when I had a specific question. She helped me understand the public service workplace culture and define my career objectives within the federal government. I would like to thank OCISO and my amazing mentor for their continuous support that led me to secure employment within the public service!

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Olga Kiseliova
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
1 year ago

The FIN Mentorship program was extremely helpful on my way to obtaining an indeterminate position with the Federal Government. The program found a mentor that was a perfect match for me personally and professionally, and facilitated our interactions at the initial stage. And it all happened very quickly, within a couple of days. My mentor referred me to the right people, helping me to extend my sector-specific network, worked with me to prepare me for the Governmental interview. This preparation was crucial to my ability to present my key competences and effective behaviors, as well as to be confident and positive. As the result I have secured an indeterminate position with the Federal Government within 3 months from enrollment into FIN Mentorship program!

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Anonymous
Algonquin College
1 year ago

Excellent service and great support, it gave me hope in securing the job I wanted at times others made think that it is impossible.

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Anas Kouchtir
Scotia Bank
1 year ago

I visited OCISO the second day of my arrival in Canada and I felt at home. Everyone was smiling and was doing their best to help me integrate and settle in my new country.

After two weeks I received a lot of support and advice, I updated my resume and cover letter according to Canadian standards with a high degree of professionalism.

The third week, I was invited to participate in an introduction to the mentorship program; A day full of contributions and human relations.

After a month, and thanks to their great support and invaluable help I manage to win my first job in Canada and start rebuilding a new career in the country.

I will always be grateful to OCISO and the people who work there, and especially Rana and Jasmine.

A very big thank you to Santa, Houda, Zahra, and Michelle

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Mamadou
Programmer Analyst
1 year ago

I would like to thank both Mrs Tonya my OCISO's mentorship facilitator and Mrs Connie my mentor for their support and all the time they are taking to assist and guide me.
Their valuable advices are helping me in my current position and will continue to help me in achieving my career goals.
Thank you.

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Karl Jansson
Administrative Assistant
1 year ago

I wanted to thank OCISCO for matching me with my mentor. I am pleased to have met her and learned much about the government through her. She helped me in figure out more clearly what I’d like to work with as I previously only had had a vague idea. The path forward is now clearer!

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Marisol Patino
1 year ago

Tonya matched me withy mentor for the FIN program.
It was a great experience that nurtured my carreer and brought it to the next level.
Thank you!

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Viktoriya Petrova
1 year ago

I am very appreciative of all the efforts OCISO made towards my success. Several informative trainings, a lot of links and reading material, wonderful mentor and many more. Special thank you to Tonya- such a great professional and person!

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Anonymous
Research Fellow
1 year ago

OCISO is one of the best organizations that addresses the needs of newcomers and provides specific solutions. Everybody in OCISO is very friendly and they are easy to reach at all times. I have never felt alone or forgotten. I had the chance to experience several occasions that OCISO provides such as; mentorship program, connector program, speed interview workshop, resume & networking strategies.

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Bernardo Maldonado
Automation Technologist
1 year ago

I`d like to thank Ms. Kais and Ms. Blouin for all the help and encouragement they provided me. Also, I`d like to thank Mr. Dibbs for his help with my resume’ and all his willingness to help. I know I would not be able to get a job in my area that quick without OCISO`s help. Thank you very much to help me technically with my resume and interview techniques, and psychologically, with encouragement to help me keep a positive mindset.

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FRIDA NDOKI
Risk Services Advisor
1 year ago

The mentorship program is a great opportunities to connect newcomers with professionals and to equip them with the knowledge, techniques, and confidence they need to secure their first employment in Canada.

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RH
1 year ago

OCISO is a great settlement organization for newcomers. I accessed their mentorship program. It matched me with a seasoned federal civil servant who had years of hands on experience in career counselling and development. The mentorship program helped me to develop my career planning in Canada and setting up short and long term goals. OCISO’s Mentorship Facilitator, Tonya Pomerantz, was very helpful, and she set me up very efficiently with the mentor. She had also followed up throughout the mentorship program to benefit from it. It was a great learning experience.

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Michel
Financial Analyst
1 year ago

C'est avec une très grande satisfaction que je termine mon programme de mentorat initié par OCISO.
J'ai eu beaucoup de chance de profiter de la riche experience de ma mentor, car elle était toujours disponible pour me guider dans mes démarches de recherche d'emploi, m'aider à préparer mes entrevues et m'assister dans la planification de ma carrière.
Je la remercie pour ce temps précieux qu'elle a sacrifié pour m'encadrer, je remervie également OCISO pour cette occasion qui m'a permis d'enrichir mon réseau de contact et d'améliorer mes stratégies de recherche d'emploi.

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Charlotte B
2 years ago

I would like to take this time to thank you sincerely. You have helped me and if am moving forward it's because of the motivation that you added to me especially reminding me and ensuring me that I have all it costs to make it to a better life. I would write pages to express how much you have contributed to this achievement from the very first day I met you. I hope to see you again in the near future. You deserve more than a "Thank you" . I believe blessings from God will satisfy you with peace of mind and joy as you keep giving hope to the hopeless and raising lives. Thanks for opening another door for me through OCISO Internship.

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harki Acharya
3 years ago

I like OCISO,because this school give s us Good Knowledge, I came here for reading and writing,i came 5 days a week i started OCISO In 2015 and i make friends sometime i make fun with them.

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KH
3 years ago

i would like to say thanks ociso ! but i with 3 years for it and when i came here i got my citizenship so i enjoy few month.

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Devika
3 years ago

I would like to say thanks to OCISO. I started to study in a CLB 2 language class one year ago. My teachers is very nice. I enjoy my friends in the my class.I say again thank you for my teacher you help me every time because i am happy with you

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Gopal Chandra Gurung
3 years ago

I am learning English in OCISO. I come to school started in January 5,2015. lam improve English very well. My teacher name is Agatha. My teacher is teach English language.thanks you.

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Deni Basse
3 years ago

I had a very effective mentor who supported me in finding a job in a very reasonable timeframe. OCISO got it right the 1st time with a perfect matching ...

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Илья Панфилов
3 years ago

I would like to thank for their endless professionalism, patience and sense of humor. Not only classes were trully delightful, but delivered..

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Lachhi
3 years ago

OCISO is for every people who need to learn English. And also for new comers from different country. I have been here for 1 year. I am glade to be here because , I got more information about Canada and more knowledge about other things too. As well as I meet with friends. And the teachers of OCISO are very helpful.

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Mohamed Abdillahi Ali
3 years ago

OCISO helps me to improve my English language and during my studies ,I Learnt a lot of words and expressions.Now,! get much knowledge which helps me to listen,to read and to write.

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hasan hamza
3 years ago

I want to talk about my teacher. She's teaches very well and she's very clever when she speaks in a friendly way.

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Marylin
3 years ago

I have been here almost 2 weeks . OCISO is a good school , and in the CLBS we have a perfect teacher . I would like to continue until the highest level in the school .

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Sophia Feng
3 years ago

I thank OCISO and my teacher so much. You tell me how to learn English's way and know about Canada . In the class, I am walking into the language of English. I feel I am confident live in Ottawa. Also I really feel happy in the class, so I like to go to school. I think I will to find a new job in future . That time I hope I can, like my teacher, help people .Thanks OCISO and teacher again!

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Fares Jeryous – Fares
3 years ago

OCISO has very good teachers and very good program that makes you learn English from C.L.B.C until level seven . I advice every refugee person to register in this school because I learn much about Canada and improve my language, and this is thanks my teacher BRENDA , she is helpful and knows what she want to do. thank you BRENDA .

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Murad
3 years ago

OCISO is a good school and OCISO has a good teacher. for my experience I was very happy. And my teacher Brenda is a perfect teacher in CLB5 .She learned me and gave my a lot of information and she was help me all the time.

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Mentee, Public Administration Professional
3 years ago

With the valuable help from my mentor, I have found a co-op opportunity with H RSDC from September to December. Hereby, I sincerely thank you and the program of mentorship of OCISO.

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Mentee, Legal Professional
3 years ago

Once again, thank you and OCISO infinitely for your help throughout the job searching process and for partnering me with such a knowledgeable, patient and kind mentor.

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Mentee, Management Professional
3 years ago

I would like to thank you and the rest of the team at the OCISO Career Mentoring Program for all the
support. Every interaction with the program - with staff members, as well as with my mentor - was a learning experience that took me closer to a job opportunity. The match-making process was awesome: it was very fast (from intake session to meeting my mentor in less than a week), and Mr. Burwell's skills as a mentor are extraordinary. As a truly satisfied client, I will be more than glad to openly recommend the Program to your target audience.

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Mentee, Legal Professional
Mentee, Legal Professional
3 years ago

Once again, thank you and OCISO infinitely for your help throughout the job searching process and for partnering me with such a knowledgeable, patient and kind mentor.

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Andrea Diaz, Sustainability Consultant
3 years ago

I had a wonderful and enriching experience with the mentor I was assigned. Not only my mentor provided me with strategic ideas to enhance my job hunt, but she also dedicated an incredible amount of time from her busy agenda to meet me personally and to reply every single communication we established over email. I finally felt there was someone who could speak about my sector and support me in every single step of my efforts to attain a job that I really wanted, not just any job. I also learned from my mentor to be patient but at the same time to not give up on my dream job and focus on making it happen. I enjoyed sharing experiences with my mentor; she wasn't only interested in assisting with her insights, but also on listening to my work perspectives while being incredibly friendly and sincere. This is priceless when you are jobless and need to navigate through a lot of situations. This program has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I can't thank enough OCISO and my mentor for this amazing opportunity, I finally got one of the jobs I have been dreaming of.

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Our Mission!

OCISO supports immigrants through the journey of making Canada their home by providing creative and responsive programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, by building community through mutual respect and partnerships, and by fostering healthy and inclusive spaces for open dialogue and healing.

What we do 🙂

We are community based non-profit organization that has been providing services in Ottawa since 1978. We are motivated by the stories of new immigrants, and we are there every stage of the journey. OCISO directly serves over 10,000 immigrants and refugees every year. Our work is augmented by the generous efforts of our enthusiastic, caring and talented staff, volunteers, both established and new Canadians.