top of page

Student of the Month: Say Hello to Josué

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Josué is the Innovation Manager at Daiya Foods and the protagonist of our Student of the Month. Almost seven years have passed since Josué made the decision to come from Mexico and sacrifice a comfortable life to become a struggling student like most of us.

But how did he get from student to manager at one of the biggest dairy-alternative food companies in Canada? Let’s start with his biggest decision.

Within the lapse of a year, I came to a conclusion: Life was happening to me; I wasn’t the one leading it. I worked for 6 years at a company and a entrepreneurial project I enjoyed and learned so much from, but somehow, it came a moment when I started to feel that it was not the life I wanted for myself moving forward. I decided that I needed a change and start from scratch. I decidedly looked for an international experiencesaid Josue before taking a deep breath.

— We commonly end up getting to the point where we feel stuck in the city we once loved.

But a new beginning always helps us drastically improve. However, may I ask, out of all countries, why Canada, why Vancouver?— I asked with profound interest.

Before answering. I will tell you about two experiences. The first one was when I studied at Tecnológico de Monterrey, a well-known school in my country. There, I was part of the university’s folklore dance group and we used to participate in different kinds of tours. I once had the opportunity to go to a small town in Ontario and after, we went to Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto. To be honest, this experience was a mindset changer for me. I arrived with an open mind...willing to accept all the good vibes Canada had to offer and was surprised by the multicultural life, how it fosters diversity and equality for all individuals, and how everyone lives their daily routines.
The second experience was when I thought about moving...
Every time that idea jumped to my mind, Vancouver showed up too! The funny part is that I had never visited Vancouver before and I did not have any friends or family in the city, but thinking about being relatively close to my hometown was a huge relief. I did deep research to prepare myself for the adventure — Josué passed both hands through his hair until his palms parked on his neck, then he exhaled. He exhaled as someone who knows that it has been a long trip, but one that’s been worthwhile.

— Making this decision to get off your comfort zone is not easy. It implies moving to a new city, another country, loneliness, and fear. I believe that after that first step, if you’re convinced about what you’re doing and don’t hesitate, everything ends up working out. What do you think about this last part... Do you think having no hesitations makes everything end up good for you, or complications will eventually come despite your

decision— I dropped this heavy question with a nervous smile, but not as heavy as the response...

More than having a decision, you need conviction. It’s fine if you’re scared. Maybe for some of us, our thoughts make us doubt and when that happens, you need to redefine your decision. If you cannot write down in one sentence why you’re doing these changes in your life, you will think about heading back home at the first sign of trouble —

—Definitely, I believe you used a better word: conviction. And this leads me to my next question. At the very beginning when you took your flight to Canada, did you already know what you would do on your arrival? —One question after another. I did not back up, not

even to catch a single breath.

As I said, I did a lot of research and I wanted to have a plan. The best way for me was to become an international student, so I looked for something that could help me continue building my career either here in Vancouver or back in Mexico. I applied for a 2-year study permit, but it also came with a work permit that I could use during and after finishing my post-baccalaureate degree. Making the stay longer in a place I was settling in — Josué took a sip of water.

—Choosing a school is difficult. Different types of colleges support international students and each one has different types of programs. Heading straight to the point, which school did you select and why? — I started feeling thirsty, so I took a couple of gulps myself. More and

more questions came to my mind, but the interview was coming to an end.

The school I selected was Capilano University. This was not my only option on the list, as I also considered SFU and UBC. The price also plays a role when you’re taking a big step. I used my savings to come here and it’s also good to mention that the tuition fees are higher if you come from another country. To me, Capilano has the perfect balance between reputation and affordability.

— Capilano, SFU, UBC...Renowned schools that I believe are hard to get into. What did you do to get into, I mean, what was the process you followed to be part of the institution?

It’s not hard, but your professional experience is a plus. The program I applied to was looking for a diverse set of professionals and my previous knowledge helped me to get into it without any inconvenience or complication. Fortunately, everything worked great for me and I believe that having a plan helped me follow the best path. Creating a connection with others was another factor that benefited me.

— Another deep breath, just how much effort, complications, and pressure did he endure? — I must ask another thing. What was your biggest risk or what did you face when you arrived in Canada? What could’ve detonated...fear is not the word I’m looking for, but let’s say doubt. Yes, let’s name it that. —

I lived in constant uncertainty. This is an experience we all have, particularly the ones who already started a career in our countries but moved looking for a better life. We leave behind our network, just to discover how important it is or how much it helps to find a job.
I came to Canada with my cat, Mota. We both headed into this next adventure together. I got into Capilano and started the Co-op. One of the biggest challenges was finding a job, which most international students face because they ask for Canadian experience. Employers often select others who already have a permanent residence, which creates even more uncertainty.
Even though I had a solid resume and job experience, it was hard to get an interview.
I remember one of those bad days. I was on my bed, sad because of my situation, considering going back to Mexico. I hugged Mota and said: I need to keep going, I can’t give up, I’m halfway there, that’s all I need.

—True, things like these are the ones that heighten our fears. But the fact that you’re still here, makes me believe how powerful our thoughts are. Is there someone, anyone that helped you or guided you in this transition? I’m talking about your Canadian experience, resume, and Transit information, among others.

That’s a yes. I could not have made it without other people’s help. When you arrive as an international student, you find yourself in the same situation as other students. Everyone is on the same page, with common goals. In my case, I was fortunate to find people along the way that guided me and helped me settle way faster. — His eyes went back to the past to re-live the good old days. But mostly to remember those who helped in his journey.

— Talking about help, can you give 3 pieces of advice for the next generation of students?

First, you need to know what you want. If you’re not able to write it down somewhere in one sentence, then you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.
Second, search for experience and people that are different from what you know. This will help you create a network.
Third, work smart, not hard, and adjust your skills to what companies are looking for.

—The alarm on the phone rumbles in the room, but every good story needs a good ending, so one last question was asked —To conclude. If you could go back in time, what would you

say to yourself? Knowing what you already know now —

To be honest, I would not say too much. Everything I wished for, happened. But one thing I would say is: You’re doing great, it will be hard, but it is worth it. This is the best decision you will make. Mota will be there with you. — Josue smiled to the skies as if he was seeing himself in the past, talking to himself, talking to who he was before.

If you want to know more about Josue’s adventure, you can connect with him on our Slack community. He will be glad to help you with all your questions and concerns. Also, you can know more about him. ✌🏼

34 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Great article, great story. Congratulations on your determination, Im sure it will pay off.

bottom of page