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Immigrant Stories

Meet the Pillay-Jayan Family

By Petrina D'Souza, 30 Mar, 2020
  • Meet the Pillay-Jayan Family

"Canadian culture is basically an amalgamation of many different cultures from all over the world. I think that’s what makes the country special.”


Rahul Jayan works at RBC

Deepa Pillay works at Beattie Tartan Communications

Deepa Pillay moved to Canada in 2017 to do her MBA and then decided to stay after getting a job in marketing and communications. Initially she rented a room in a house located near the university. “One of my first impressions was that Canadian culture is basically an amalgamation of many different cultures from all over the world. I think that’s what makes the country special,” says Deepa, who took around six months to a year to get completely used to living in Canada. “The beginning was hard,” recalls Deepa. When she was studying here, her husband, Rahul Jayan, was in India. “We were [in a] long distance [relationship] for more than two years. The long distance was hard. But now that we’re together again and are beginning to settle down in the community, we’re definitely happy.”

Getting a job was “definitely troublesome” for Deepa. “Not too many people want to take a chance on an immigrant. This is sad, but true,” mentions the marketing professional who worked as an Assistant Marketing Manager in Bangalore, back in India. Today, Deepa works at Beattie Tartan Communications and Rahul works at RBC.

The couple like how easy some things are in Canada. “For example, the transit system here is great. So is the infrastructure.” What Deepa and Rahul dislike is how everything is appointment-based. “Even if we’re making plans to see friends, we need to make an appointment. That’s something we’ll probably never
get used to,” they explain.

Deepa feels that moving to Canada has definitely been an experience she has enjoyed having. “We’re quite happy here and see ourselves settling down in Canada for the foreseeable future,” the young couple says in conclusion.

Biggest obstacle faced so far in Canada:

Definitely landing a job in my chosen field, marketing and communications. As I mentioned earlier, people are hesitant to give immigrants a chance. And our work experience from home, no matter how relevant, is not taken into consideration. I wouldn’t say getting a job in Canada is hard…it’s getting a job in your field of interest is what’s difficult.

Resolutions made for yourself or family:

Giving back to the community; making a difference in the lives of people who aren’t as fortunate as us; and to build a strong social circle in Canada.

Advice for immigrants:

Never lose hope and never let anyone make you feel ‘less than’. Know your worth and always keep your head held high.

Memories of your homeland:

We miss our family and friends a ton! And of course, we definitely miss the amazing food.

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