From Poor Student to Top 30 Women in the World: A Success Story
I have an unusual guest for an interview: Aina. She moved to Canada as a student and is now one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs in the world, according to the New York City Journal.
Short-term courses for the sake of moving
Aina's success story is full of difficulties and obstacles. Seven years ago she came to Vancouver from Ukraine, Donetsk region, on a student visa. Aina considered several countries for immigration, but Canada was not a priority. However, in 2014 there was unrest in the country, so there was no time to think about it. A year-long hotel internship in the Maldives, which Aina took in 2013, helped her get her student visa. She found a course in Canada related to the hotel business, although she had no intention to develop in this field. The training lasted 3 months, with another 3 months set aside for an internship.
Aina was not impressed with Vancouver, unlike Montreal, where she had originally flown to. However, college was in Vancouver, and Montreal, she later realized, was an underdeveloped business.
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Aina thought about renewing her visa six months later, but as it turned out, she should have taken steps much earlier. Moving to Vancouver, constant part-time work and little money did not give time to deal fully with the visa issue, so Aina decided to buy another course, this time in English. At the same time, the girl took any job that she could do 20 hours a week, which is how much she was allowed to work during her studies.
"I worked part-time, frankly, doing whatever I could," Aina recalls. — It was dishwashing, cleaning, restaurants, bartending, waitressing..."
After several more visa extensions, Aina realized that she was trapped in a vicious circle: she was extending her visa for six months, working, but there was only enough money to live and to buy another short course. She was faced with a choice: to return home or make some serious breakthrough that would help her stay in Canada.
Going to a prestigious university without money
Aina talked a lot with immigration consultants, and one of the suggestions was to take a full course of study at the university in order to get a work permit for 1-3 years and then a permanent residence permit. In her home country, she had a master's degree in electrical engineering, but she wanted to develop in business and project management. Therefore, she decided that if she wanted to get an education, she should get a second master's degree.
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