[WeASKED] Sunny & Ashima | India
Sunny - Commercial Account Manager, RBC | Ashima - Banking Advisor, RBC
The journey to Saint John began 2 years ago when Sunny was visiting England for couple of days. He attended an international job fair and came across J.D. Irving, Limited at the New Brunswick booth. Impressed by the opportunities at JDI and the prospect of a new life in New Brunswick, Sunny and Ashima started to put the wheels in motion to move to Canada. “Everything happens for a reason; Saint John is a hidden secret,” says Sunny when talking about receiving the job offer from J.D. Irving, Limited and preparing for their move.
Once they arrived in Saint John, Ashima started work at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Canada and after 3 months, an opportunity for a contract position in HR Recruitment became available. Having a background in Human Resources, Ashima applied for the position, and was successful in getting the role.
“Patience is very important. Things will happen. It may take time, but once you get your foot in the door, things will align, and opportunities will present themselves,” says Sunny.
Ashima continued to look for a permanent role in HR or banking which aligned with her previous experience. During this time the couple attended a job fair at the RBC McAllister Place branch, and Sunny met Amy Lynn Patterson, Vice President, Commercial Financial Services, Western NB. There the conversation began about his future career plans. “Making connections is the important part regardless of the size of the city,” says Sunny. Today the couple both work for RBC - Sunny as Commercial Account Manager and Ashima as a Banking Advisor.
Arriving in November, Sunny was not prepared for the cold weather. Sunny recalls walking to work on a blustery cold morning on his first day of work with just a light coat over his suit jacket. “It was so cold and I quickly realized the jacket I was wearing was for summer not winter,” says Sunny with a smile. Seeing this, his boss kindly lent him his winter jacket to tie him over until the weekend when he could go shopping. “It’s the people here that make the community; they are friendly and welcoming,” says Sunny.
Sunny’s former commute was 35 km, which worked out to a 2 hour drive each way. Now Sunny has a relaxing 10-minute walk to and from work in Uptown Saint John. Sunny uses the extra 4 hours a day he no longer spends commuting for volunteering and studying. “Continuing and upgrading education is key to future success,” says Sunny.
Sunny and Ashima have settled Uptown in the 3 Sisters Condos and enjoy cooking together on Sundays. When they first moved to Saint John, they had to travel to Moncton to get many of their cooking spices but now they find them in the international foods section at Walmart in Saint John.
“The city is progressing; I have seen it change and grow over the past two years,” says Sunny. When they do go out, Thandi’s butter chicken is a comforting reminder of home. Together they are building their Canadian family filled with new friends, experiences and sharing of cultures.
Both Sunny and Ashima are committed to giving back to the community that has welcomed them with open arms. Sunny offers a financial literacy program for newcomers on behalf of CPA Canada that is held at local not-for-profit organizations including the Saint John Newcomers Centre. Together, Sunny and Ashima started the Atlantic India Free Kitchen in Service for All, a bi-weekly breakfast for the homeless at Outflow which ran from July to November. Sunny hopes to restart the service this summer and expand its offering. “Our intent is that we are able to contribute to our community which has given us so many things,” says Sunny.
Saint John is a diverse and growing community where companies are attracting newcomers from within Canada and around the globe. Are you interested in Living and working in Greater Saint John, send us your resume! Or if you know of someone who has just moved to Saint John from work, connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.