I worked in the local mall during my time in Waterloo, Ontario. The shop was called Softmoc and was a shoe store. I have thoroughly enjoyed working over here because it’s enabled me to meet locals and other young people who don’t happen to be students. It’s allowed me to see and become emerged into a different part of Canada (not just the university and campus life). The staff I have worked with have also become my friends who I have travelled and hung out with many times; something I didn’t expect when I accepted employment here.
I was lucky with my visa in that I could work off-campus, something the others could not do for some reason. I’d advise to bring as many pieces of evidence that the visa recommends for the interview in the airport. For me I personally found the whole process of working retail over here to be much more relaxed than in the UK. The interview wasn’t particularly formal yet it seemed so genuine and to the point. The customers are generally much more friendly to what I’ve experienced back in the UK. I booked trips early on and then started my work schedule after I’d done some immediate sightseeing. My manager was very friendly and understood I was on exchange so she was lenient with me booking time off.
Written by Kyle Roscoe, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada