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July 1, 2011

How one immigrant is trying to achieve his Canadian dream

by Gerard Keledjian
Immigrant George Niculescu

I first meet George Niculescu at Rogers TV Toronto on January 18, 2011.  He is there to work as a volunteer on the breakfast show “Daytime Toronto” and hopes that experience will lead to a job.

“My uncle – (who had immigrated to Canada a decade ago) – told me it’s better to volunteer and get local experience,” Niculescu tells me after the show.  “I see it as a step forward and will try to make the most of it.”

Immigrant George Niculescu

George Niculescu (left) during a filming assignment in Brasov

Niculescu, 28, is from Brasov, Romania.  He studied Psychology and Educational Sciences at the local university then worked as a photographer and a cameraman for media companies in his home town.

He first thought of leaving Romania back in 1998, during a visit to the movie capital of the world, Hollywood, with his parents.  “I applied for immigration in the summer of 2009 and landed in Toronto last November,” he says.  “I want to study filmmaking at Ryerson, get into the movie industry.”

He found the volunteering opportunity at Rogers TV on the internet and applied.  A few days later, the Coordinator for Volunteer Services at the station interviewed him over the phone and approved his application.  Now Niculescu volunteers two days a week as a floor assistant. He’s a bit shy, quiet, but ready to succeed.

“I am applying to job postings online, and in person,” he says.  Armed with copies of his resume, he also knocked on the doors of companies in North Toronto. After two days he got a call from Staples, the office supplies superstore.  Company managers interviewed him three times. “I am still waiting for an answer from Staples,” he says in his email to me two weeks later.  “If they do not call me tomorrow, I will go there personally (to follow up).”

I meet Niculescu again the following week at Rogers TV and ask him about Staples.  The company hired other candidate who was more experienced in sales.

“When I came, my friends and relatives here told me it is going to be hard.”  However, Niculescu is hopeful with his job search.  “I have applied to few other positions and must find a job soon.

“There’s not much money left,” he says smiling.

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