Balveen Loomba – Mentee Feature
Mentorship is a powerful tool for internationally trained professionals like Balveen Loomba. Formerly a Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) Mentee, Balveen is now a Banking Advisor at the Royal Bank of Canada.
“When I moved to Calgary, I was just Googling ‘how to find a job,’ and ‘who’s there to support me,’” says Balveen. “That’s when I was able to find CRIEC.”
Through CRIEC, Balveen was matched with a mentor who not only offered guidance and support but also helped her navigate the intricacies of living in Calgary.
Transportation can often be a barrier for newcomers, which subsequently affects their ability to integrate into their new communities and access essential services. While Canadian cities offer transportation systems in most urban areas, newcomers often face challenges related to affordability, accessibility, and unfamiliarity with the local transportation infrastructure.
“Traveling was somewhere I also struggled,” says Balveen. “Being new to a place, you just don’t know how to commute, or where to go.”
Balveen’s mentor recognized this barrier and went above and beyond by showing her around Calgary and even offering her rides home after their mentoring sessions.
“My mentor was helpful,” praises Balveen.
Under the guidance of her mentor, Balveen revamped her resume, saying her old one “was a mess,” that didn’t reflect her experience, education and drive. Balveen received guidance on resume building and even had her mentor serve as a reference.
“Every single time I met with her, I had that ‘I can do it,’ attitude in me,” says Balveen.
Balveen’s dedication led her to secure a position at RBC, one of Canada’s largest and most reputable financial institutions. Today, she thrives in her role, and her colleagues see and support her on her path towards leadership roles.
Recognizing the role her mentor played in her life, Balveen holds a strong desire to pay it forward. She volunteers through RBC and hopes to become a CRIEC Mentor to help others facing similar challenges.
“Being a newcomer, we have to keep having faith in ourselves that we can do it and surround ourselves with people who believe in us.”
According to Balveen, finding and accessing programs and organizations like CRIEC is a crucial initial step for newcomers. She recommends that upon arriving in Calgary, newcomers take the time to seek out resources that can help before embarking on their job search.
“I feel like it would be so helpful because as I said, through CRIEC, through my mentorship program, I got so much helpful advice,” says Balveen.
Her journey from a mentee to a thriving professional stands as a testament to the power of mentorship and its transformative effects on both personal and professional growth.