Program helps newcomer work in Canada

From sporadic work to a permanent position in the construction industry, Rufo Laroco has come a long way. Recently graduating from SFU’s Project Management Certificate program, the Philippines immigrant credits what he learned to placing him on a straight path to success. Here’s what Rufo told us about how he got to where he is today.

What were you doing before taking SFU’s Project Management Certificate program?
I’d worked as a project coordinator in the Philippines for 20 years, but I’d learned the job as I went along. I arrived in Canada in 2015, where I had to do odd jobs because of a lack of a Canadian certificate. I was a new immigrant and applying for a job was a struggle.

What made you decide to enroll in the program?
I attended the first available information session at SFU after checking out different schools’ websites. The session convinced me that the program would make way for better opportunities.

What was your favourite part of the program and why?
The interaction in class helped. We shared experiences in our workplace, which became a springboard for discussion with respect to the courses. Everyone benefited from these discussions facilitated by the professors.

How has the program helped build your career? And what are your future goals?
Straight forward. I began getting interviews when I indicated on my resume that I’d finished SFU’s Project Management Certificate program. Nobody had called me for an interview before that. I got the job I wanted—junior coordinator (ha-ha, it belies my age)—where I get to practise what I learned in class. I’m proud to tell you I work for a general contractor based in downtown Vancouver. We do renovation work for one of Canada’s leaders in property development. Hopefully, I get to be a project manager in the near future.

What advice do you have for other business professionals considering taking the Project Management Certificate?
I would like to quote the world leader in entrance systems on this: ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’

Who do you think would benefit most from taking the program?
Anybody who intends to be a coordinator or a project manager.