Originally from Africa, Enyinna had to face numerous challenges in his journey into employment in Ireland.
This is Enyinna’s story in his own words:
My journey to the BITCI-EPIC Programme started with the simple conversation I had with an elderly woman I was opportune to meet at a Job Fair in Blanchardstown, in early 2017.
She was also representing my guardian angel. She persuaded me to go through the six weeks EPIC programme and I did just that. I was firing on all cylinders in my bid to get a job and kick-start a career in Ireland. A natural optimist, I gave it my all and even when the refusals wouldn’t stop, I was not giving up. After three months of applying and being turned down uncountable times, I was finally open to an out of the box advice.
Right from the door, EPIC threw me into the ring where I learnt not only what to do in order to secure employment in Ireland but also how to do it for myself and make use of the invaluable resources available at EPIC. My first confirmation of appointment from a Fortune 500 organisation in Ireland came on the day of my graduation from the EPIC programme. Being unemployed and searching for a job in the midst of the severe competition and rising standards is nerve-racking. My class was made up of highly qualified professionals from different countries with lots of experience; the common denominator was a frustration at not knowing why we were not being considered good enough.
The EPIC intervention stood in the gap for us; through classroom instructions, practical individual and team building exercises, we went through recreating our own tailored CVs, showing our own strengths in the format and language that best reflected the requirements of the job being applied for. Beyond that, we learned to write our own cover letters by instruction, examples and practice. Cultural and work place integration were also in the equation, as we went through basic Irish social reorientation sessions. The diversity I was thrown into at EPIC showed me my social weaknesses and brought out strengths I never knew I had. Seasoned recruiters and HR managers from multinational corporations in partnership with EPIC shared expectations from the Human Resources perspective with us. Then there was the invaluable IT training from basic to advanced level MS Office Word and Excel. Finally, the interview preparation sessions which culminated in a test of all we had learnt during the six weeks, with the mock interview at CPL recruitment.
My EPIC experience was instructive, empowering and inclusive. Even after graduation, EPIC continues to support its alumni through different phases of their careers and associated social challenges. Further training opportunities, standing as referees, invitations to corporate and career development events, advisory and other support roles are also humanely shared.
I am immensely indebted to all the amazing hands working directly on the EPIC programme and all the other invisible organisations and institutions whose vision and commitment make the EPIC journey a reality. You are not just helping migrants settle and gain employment in Ireland; you are rejuvenating lives, restoring hope to families in Ireland and beyond, reuniting and strengthening family bonds as well as making the world a safer and better place.
Enyinna Ogbugo Ngwobia
Former EPIC Programme participant
If you want to learn more about EPIC and the services we provide, visit our EPIC Programme page.