6. Journey to Employment – Lord Abbey Video
Check out the other educational videos in this series.
Helping you find a career in Agriculture Video
Local Services for Immigrants Video
Free English Language Assessment Video
High Ranking Employment Skills Video
Journey to Employment – Daniel Gutierrez Video
Journey to Employment- Jorge Acevedo Video
This is one of a series of educational videos produced by the Ontario Institute of Agrologists (OIA) to help internationally educated immigrants find careers in agriculture, agri-food and agri-science in Ontario. Supported by the Ontario Government, the “Bridging to Employment” project can help you to compete in the job search market.
Hi. My name is Lord Abbey and I’m from Accra, Ghana. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honours in Agriculture at the University of Ghana. After that I was awarded scholarships to pursue my Masters Degree and PhD in Horticulture and Crop Science in the United Kingdom. I also worked as a Research Scientist at a Research Institute in Ghana.
In 2002, I visited Toronto to attend a conference and my interaction with people in and outside the conference made me feel that Canada was the place for me.
I filed an application as a highly skilled immigrant at the Canadian High Commission in London, England. Two years later, in 2007, I landed in Canada with my family and we were all very excited to come here. I thought it would be easy to get a job in my chosen field. This turned out to be false.
I sent a number of applications in response to job advertisements but didn’t find any work, even though I was a research scientist for over ten years in Ghana. After sending many applications and talking to people including recruitment agencies it became clear that I needed some Canadian experience to compete in the job market.
I was getting frustrated so I thought I’d broaden my scope to improve my marketability. I registered for a course at the Toronto Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology to pursue a post-graduate diploma in Pharmaceutical Research and Development. I graduated with distinction but I still wanted to stay in agriculture rather than the pharmaceutical industry.
As I was browsing the Internet for pharmaceutical jobs I came across the term “regulated” jobs in Canada. It was then that I learned that agriculture is a regulated profession in Canada. Further research led me to the Ontario Institute of Agrologists website.
I soon realized the value of membership in the OIA and how a professional organization could help me to achieve my employment goals. I registered with the OIA and after taking all the required courses I became a Professional Agrologist.
Workshops offered by the OIA helped me to better understand the Canadian work culture. I applied what I learned from the OIA and I took the advice they gave me to prepare for interviews. Looking for work is a full time job and it’s important to be focused and motivated.
Networking is also critical to finding employment. The Ontario Institute of Agrologists was instrumental in helping me make the connections that led to my current position here at The Stop’s Green Barn in Toronto. As the Greenhouse and Horticulture Coordinator, I am responsible for a 3,000 sq. ft. greenhouse, a 2,000 sq. ft. sheltered garden and a composting facility. I work with three staff, four co-op students and about 25 volunteers. My main responsibility is to schedule planting, crop management and harvesting. I also lead tours, conduct gardening workshops and perform experiments.
The OIA’s Internationally Educated Professional Agrologists Program was there when I needed it and I’m very grateful for this bridging program.
I think it’s important for new immigrants like me who have an agricultural background to register with the Ontario Institute of Agrologists. The OIA helped me to make my dream come true and now in return, I’m mentoring new articling agrologists to help them realize their dreams.
My name is Lord Abbey. I’m a Professional Agrologist and I’m putting my skills to work in Ontario.