In Venezuela, Sergio Jaua was an accomplished art director and designer. But economic and political changes in the country negatively impacted his standard of living. It was time for a change. He immigrated to Canada in 2011.

Once he arrived in Toronto, he realized the job market was very competitive and his lack of work experience in Canada, coupled with a language barrier, would be problematic in reestablishing his career.

“I thought that my best option to rebuild my professional path was to study,” Jaua explains. “Getting a certificate in marketing could complement my resumé and improve my professional skills as a creative marketing designer.”

He enrolled in continuing education at George Brown College, after getting recommendations from people and doing online research. It was a fitting choice.

“I really enjoyed the atmosphere,” he says. “It was professional, but also relaxed. Teachers were approachable and the people were friendly. As a new Canadian, it was important for me to network and to make new friends.”

Going back to school also brought challenges. For the first time, he was studying in English, not his native tongue. Over time, the courses helped improve his language skills and grew his knowledge of the Canadian marketplace.

His instructors were actively working in their field and could share up-to-date information on an industry that is continually evolving — Jaua found this was instrumental in his success. “Learning from someone who can give you examples from their own experience is invaluable and makes classes more exciting and engaging.”

Jaua was able to continue pursuing the certificate after landing a job with Sunwing Travel Group. The flexibility of the continuing education format served him well. He attended courses in the evenings while working full-time. After earning his marketing certificate, he was promoted to brand design supervisor.

Jaua continues to take additional courses. “Studying is a great way to improve both as a professional and a human being,” he points out. “I recommend it to other new Canadians who are looking to enter a new career or continuing in their chosen field. My experience has been excellent!”