Last week, we started a series we call “Immigration Story”. it is a story of how people become Permanent Resident in Canada. We will use the series to share the stories of African Immigrants. Our focus is to show you what others are going through. And this might serve as a form of motivation or encouragement. So, if you missed it, you can read the first edition, the story of Akinola Obiyemi. Today, we will be sharing story of Dapo Bankole.
Who Is Dapo Bankole
Dapo Bankole, a Canadian citizen, is a passionate and thorough IT professional who enjoys solving business problems. He achieves this through the practice of business analysis, project management and digital marketing. Dapo works with business owners who are ready to scale their businesses profitably through an online medium. He is the President of Mopheth Systems Corp., an organization with a primary operating base in Calgary.
The Journey To Permanent Residency In Canada
I have come across several discussions debating why immigrating to Canada o becoming a permanent resident in Canada may or may not be worth it. When asked, many who eventually succeeded would argue that immigrating to Canada is perhaps the best decision they made for themselves and their families. For those who are still struggling or who did not have a so great experience after landing in Canada, they would wonder why it ever makes sense for people to leave their “successful lives” behind in their country of birth and have to take up “survival jobs” or less gratifying professional jobs in Canada.
Viewpoints will continue to vary depending on which side of the divide one prefers to stay. I have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly side of immigration but my story is still being written. Although the best version of myself is still ahead, because I am still a work in progress, I will share a little bit of my experience so far.
I will also share my personal opinion on different School of thoughts. This will be biased since it is based on my personal experience, observation, interpretation and perspective to life. In reality, there is by no means a right or wrong answer, suggestion or opinion. Whatever anyone says is nothing but an opinion. Everybody’s circumstance will be unique no matter how similar. And a number of factors will definitely contribute to that.
It is my personal opinion that there is nothing wrong with this. Actually, I don’t like the name. It appears to connote a negative or suffering mien. If you don’t mind, I’d prefer to call it temporary job, transit job, preparatory job or whatever other name that suggests a temporary contract rather than “survival”. In my opinion, “survival job” suggests barely making it and paints a negative picture. Struggling to escape death. That perception in itself is a morale killer rather than a booster. The word in itself may not be an issue but words paint pictures in our minds. It is the negative picture that it tends to paint that I don’t like. However, the money it brings is fantastic even though it can always be better.
The Canadian Dream
There are two ways to migrate to Canada – prepared and unprepared. And this in itself needs some form of qualification – financial, mental, career, spiritual etc. In my humble opinion, I was prepared. The Canadian dream for me was not an accident. And neither was it a fad. My first glimpse into the Canadian dream was in 1993 – just when I was pushing to secure admission into the University. But I parked it – it was not time. And I did not lose sight of it. I kept following up laws, trends, success stories, failure stories. I kept reminding myself that one day, my time will come.
My Canadian dream was one of the things I took to the discussion table when I was courting my wife in 2002/2003. Canada was not negotiable for me so we had to agree so the journey can be smoother. Fortunately, the dream was not a big deal to her. it was a BIG sacrifice and so eventually she embraced it. In pursuit of my Canadian dream, I took up two Canadian certifications (the I.S.P and ITCP) with http://www.cips.ca in 2007 and 2008.
I had not even applied for Canadian immigration but I knew the opportunity would come one day. And a few months later, it did! In late 2007, I applied for Canadian immigration. I felt on top of the world! My joy was however short lived. Early 2008, the laws got changed. So, my application was not processed! But I kept up the hope.
Improving My Career
I continued to improve my career spent time to discover myself, my aspiration and what my preferred career would be like. I was a very technical person deeply involved in Project Management and I was successful at it. But something wasn’t quite right. Out of self discovery and with God’s help, I charted my course and knew exactly what I wanted to do.
One key discovery is that I love to help people. This includes listening to what is being said and more importantly to the unsaid. I love to connect with people and help them find a solution to their challenges and problems. I am a big picture person.
So, I always try to marry the current with the future. I enjoy reading, writing and don’t think twice before creating documents. Making presentations and challenging the status quo are natural to me. I just relish giving people alternative ways to think. I love taking on challenges, I am quite adventurous. It wasn’t long before I realized my personal attributes and passion would suit the business analysis career.
And so I started preparing, training myself, attending training and seeking such opportunities at my work place. It took time, money and deliberate effort – it wasn’t easy. But I had a dream and I was willing to give whatever it takes to see it come to pass.
Second Opportunity to apply for Canada PR program
In 2010, another opportunity came my way and I thought to apply for Canadian immigration a second time. Phew! I was to start my MBA at Warwick Business School, UK after a hard won admission rigor. Just before I paid my School fees from borrowed funds, I sought advise from a trusted friend based in Canada (Kemi Abiola).
After a long deliberation, I took her advise not to bother. If it was a Canadian degree, she didn’t mind but from UK? Maybe not. Painful but I know the kind of friends I keep so I shelved my UK runs because I trusted her advise. But today, I am very happy I took that decision. Readers beware – don’t necessarily do what I did! It was the borrowed funds that I used in paying for my Canada Immigration application. In 2012, we had our visas!
Becoming Permanent Resident in Canada
Within six weeks of securing our visas, we were in Canada! I was hungry! Was it a easy decision? NO. And that for four major reasons –
- I had a juicy offer from an international company for an exciting role a month before we left for Calgary. I was head hunted.
- there was a pending offer from another international company that required me to relocate and work outside Nigeria in another African country. I already had a final interview with the Senegal based EMEA Director so I was just counting down. It was a very promising job. The company head hunted me.
- At the company where I worked, I was billed to travel for a premium training in France the very month I left for Canada. All expense paid two weeks training with one of the company vendors. I was hand picked – never solicited for it.
- Rather than resign at my then place of work, I was given a golden offer to go settle my family in Canada for 3 months and return to my work in Lagos. It was a nice paid 3-month vacation offer. While I appreciated it, I graciously turned it down eventually even though it was very tempting. Even my sister in Canada suggested that I accepted it but I said no. It was a tough decision but it was also a easy one – I was going to leave with my family so we could face things together. Fortunately, my wife and I were in agreement so that made things easier to handle.
In the face of uncertainty and fear, we decided to move on and leave our lives in God’s hands. Yes, we became Permanent Resident in Canada. Is this approach for everyone? Certainly not. Know thyself and be true to thyself.
We will continue this story of how Dapo became a permanent resident in Canada in another post. So, bookmark our URL or add it to your feed reader.