LEDC (London, Ontario, Canada)

Success stories

Name: Milorad Bjelica
Country of Origin: - Montenegro

Past Employment:
Teacher, writer
London Region Employer and Position:
McCormick, Receiving

The smile on the face of Milorad Bjelica does not show the sadness he experienced when he first came to Canada. Not allowed to work, because he arrived on a visitor’s visa, he said he thought he would go crazy.

“I walked miles and miles, did push-ups and tried to grow accustomed to a Canadian winter. It was very, very bad.” Milorad eventually applied for permanent resident status and for a while did some work at a trust company. His wife Anica, a molecular biologist, is studying at The University of Western Ontario.

Milorad found the job he now has at McCormick Canada – an international company that produces spices and seasonings with a manufacturing plant in London, Ontario – through a recruitment organization and he began as a temporary worker on line services. In mid-2006, he became a full-time employee and moved to the receiving department.

Before coming to Canada, Milorad had learned a bit of English, but had never had the chance to actually speak it. It’s getting better all the time.

“I am improving my knowledge every day, and enjoy the opportunities I am given.”

Milorad’s advice to other newcomers is to try to be social and outgoing.

“Be pleasant and be open. Be self confident and not too shy. Be noticeable, in a good way.”

Milorad says he understands that employers may be hesitant to hire newcomers if they don’t know their background, but says a one-month trial period, no obligation, would suit most newcomers looking for a start in Canada.

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