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Barter Network Toronto

| canada

An article in the Small Business magazine led me to
Barter Network, a Toronto-based
business-to-business trade exchange that’s definitely worth checking
out. I’ve sent the paperwork for the off-campus work permit, and I
should look into how I can register as an independent consultant. I’ll
focus on my thesis first, of course, but this looks like a useful
resource and something to recommend to others…

The paperwork is easy!

| canada

I passed by the International Student Centre to ask about work
permits, and I’m thrilled to report that the process of hiring me will
be *really* easy for Canadian companies.

Because there’s a special category of work permits for international
graduate students (how convenient!), Canadian companies can treat me
like any other Canadian when hiring. They don’t have to do an
extensive job search or be of a certain size. They just have to decide
what they want me to do.

The permit allows me to work in Canada for one year. Applying for a
proper work permit after that should take me around four months. The
six-month performance review is a good time to get started on that
paperwork. The second work permit will allow me to work for an
additional two years. When I have more work experience, I’ll easily
qualify for a skilled worker visa, which will let me become a
permanent resident. The government will credit a maximum of one year
from non-permanent residents, so after two more years of permanent
residency, I’ll be able to apply for citizenship.

So I’ll probably complete the process four years from now: 2011. I
will be 27 years old, maybe 28. Yes, that sounds like a good plan.
It’ll open up more opportunities for me, and I can use those
opportunities to help others.

I still love the Philippines, and I’m glad that I can become a dual
citizen instead of giving up my Filipino citizenship. I’m looking
forward to being one of the examples of people who manage to bridge
both worlds.

My next step is to apply for an off-campus work permit so that I can
start work before I graduate. This will be handy after I finish my
thesis, because I can do a maximum of 20 hours of work while waiting
for the rest of the university paperwork to clear. By June I need to
have a chosen job offer firmly in my pocket.

Hmm. I woke up my network a little early, then, but that’s okay. I’m
the kind of person job ads are rarely written for. It’s early in the
year. People can start planning for me. That way, when I’m ready, they
can create a position if they don’t already have one!

There’ll be no lack of things I can do in Toronto. The only thing is
to find the best fit: the best fit for the company, and the best fit
for me. I know I can do the technical stuff. I want to learn more
about the people side of things: customer relations, public relations,
sales, marketing, and even management. I can learn new technologies
and tools through experimentation and from documentation (and
source!), but people skills are the ones that will really make me
wildly successful. =)

Life is good.

I should meet more people in Canada

| canada

Hanging out with my friends here made me realize that I really do need
to go and meet more people in Canada. I *love* the chaos of a large
friend group, the strong and deep relationships I get to form with
them and they with each other.

I really like my friends there. I should meet lots of other people so
that I can bring even more people into our group, the way my barkada
here grew over time.

How can I go about doing that? I’ll give pursudo and other meetup
sites a try when I get back. I’ll attend the Filipino cultural
presentations, start going to the gym, take up dancing again. I’ll
focus on my work during the day so that I can make good progress on my
thesis (I really want to finish that already!), but my evenings can be
for fun. I’ll see what I can do with Toastmasters. I’ll find somewhere
to volunteer. I want to meet other people who are crazy about life,
and I’m sure I’ll find them.

Random Emacs symbol: select-safe-coding-system-function – Variable: Function to call to select safe coding system for encoding a text.


| canada

Okay, I have officially settled in now. ;)

I used 437:08 local minutes and sent 579 text messages from July 12 to
August 11. See, that's why I *had* to find an unlimited incoming and
way-too-many-text-messages plan… 579 text messages! That's because I
organize get-togethers with broadcast text messages. I find it so much
nicer than push-to-talk, also. I wish text messaging service was more
reliable, though; sometimes messages get delayed for hours or even

It's all about the mobile swarm.

Credit card

| canada, finance

Finally sorted out a Canada-based credit card. Yay! I no longer have
to course credit card purchases through the Philippines, getting
dinged on the exchange rate. Too bad I didn't get it in time to pay
for my flight.

The credit card representative handling my activation call was really
hard-selling me on credit balance insurance. I wasn't too sure I
needed it because I plan to pay the balance off in full each month,
which is the proper way to use credit cards anyway. He was really
pushing me to go for the 30-day review, but I was, like, ehh…
Something about hard sells raises my hackles, and I was rather
suspicious of the fact that I couldn't go without and just opt in

So I Googled for “do I need balance protection insurance” and found the Government of Canada's helpful factsheet on credit balance insurance, which led me to the totally awesome list of consumer publications from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Hey, governments can rock after all. =)

Back in Toronto!

| canada

Will blog more when the dust settles.

Coder glut in Canada

| canada

Then again, things like Life After the Bubble Burst are worth thinking about.

Must remember: it's all about being the right person, in the right place, at the right time, doing the right things…