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Chidinma, an internationally qualified professional from Nigeria, completed her Career Edge paid internship for the Ontario Public Service as a part of the OPS Internship Program for Internationally Trained Individuals. Six months and two promotions later, this is her letter of appreciation to her mentor Talha, the OPS team, and everyone else who helped make it happen:

Dear Talha,

I hope this mail finds you well. How is the BPIU crew (as we would rather be called)? Hope everyone is doing fine.

Each new year affords us an opportunity to review the achievements of the previous year and assess potential areas of improvement. We also get a chance to recognize the people who contributed in one way or another to our success. It was exactly one year ago (first week in 2017) that I was invited for the Ontario ITI Internship interview. You were on the interview panel and after I was given that opportunity, you became my internship mentor. I know I may have said it over a hundred times (I find myself unconsciously always saying thank you) but once again I would like to use this opportunity to thank you for everything you did for me during my internship. You diligently guided, advised and pushed me to aim for greatness throughout my internship. I remember calling you my “Angel of Light” and “Good News Bearer” because you always brought good news. Thank you for all the times you listened to me while I practiced my presentations and pointed out areas of improvements. I can still remember the smile on your face when I “stole” some of your lines during presentations.  Time will not permit me to list the numerous ways you have positively influenced my life so once again, I can’t help but say, “thank you Talha”.

I would like to thank the members of BPIU, especially Barry Bender, our manager, who was constantly a source of strength and encouragement. Just like you, he has influenced my life positively in more ways than I can mention. I will be sending a thank you letter to him as well. My appreciation goes to Jamie “Lannister”, the Most Valuable Person (MVP) aka Google (who is definitely a must-have on every team. I owe a lot to him); Daniel Burns, whose knowledge and humility is forever engrained in my memory, and the very intelligent and diligent J.T. (OPS), it still amazes me how he is able to handle so much and keep a smile on his face. I am also grateful to Zenobia (OPS), Urszula Popiolek, the co-op students: Palvasha Thayani (oh man!) who is beautiful in and out, Fiona, Kate, Luna and all the managers and directors in the Enterprise Business Services Division.

Outside the division, I cannot help but thank the OPS ITI Program Coordinator/Consultant, Michael Theriault, who took time from his busy schedule to train me on OPS resume writing and interview preparation. It is not surprising that he was one of the first people I called when I started getting job offers. I will also like to thank Rebecca Batres, my OPS mentor from TRIEC “The Mentoring Partnership” (TMP) and Candice Leung (Career Edge) for her support during and after the internship, my fellow OPS interns and finally to Career Edge and the Ontario government for giving internationally trained immigrants like me a chance to break into the Canadian workforce.

I am grateful to God for an opportunity to be mentored by you Talha, and I cannot think of a better way to end this letter than to say it again and again, “thank you and God bless you, Talha.”



Chidinma’s original letter