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Mercer-CultureLink Newcomer Internship

CultureLink is proud to announce a new edition of our strategic alliance with Mercer. Both organizations came together to create the Mercer-CultureLink Newcomer Internship Program. The 6-month internship opportunity helps newcomers explore the Canadian professional services landscape and gain valuable Canadian work experience.

Below is the story of Somas, a newcomer client who got the internship in 2021.

Somaskandan Jayaraman

Somaskandan Jayaraman (Somas) lived and worked in over four countries before relocating to Canada not long ago. An innovative thought leader and disruptor with global experience and perspective, Somas is an MBA with honours from the reputed IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. He brings with him nine years of experience in the domains of strategy, management consulting, marketing and communications and finance. Somas arrived in Toronto as a Permanent Resident and started looking for a job opportunity that matched his education and experience. But as many newcomers do, he faced the classic predicament of being overqualified for entry-level jobs (which didn’t need experience), and not having Canadian experience for mid-level jobs (that required experience).

Since finding work was harder than expected, he began networking and met people with journeys similar to his. Through them, he learned about programs for newcomers, the kind that focuses on mentoring to help them better navigate the Canadian job market and land the right kind of job.

The more people he met while networking, the more the name ‘CultureLink’ was mentioned. He found out at CultureLink is an organization with more than 30 years of experience in assisting newcomers looking for employment, helping families navigate the school system, and providing youth with the skills necessary for bright and successful futures.

Somas reached out to CultureLink’s Community Connections Mentorship Program. And this was the start of a new chapter for him. Through CultureLink, he had access to mentorship sessions, one-on-one informational interviews with industry experts, hiring events, and more. He also signed up for CultureLink’s newsletter, and because of it, he found out about an event with Mercer -a business of Marsh & McLennan, the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. He attended the event, meeting key people from Mercer, who explained their work culture and job offerings, helping participants understand how their background and experience could be a good fit with them. For Somas, that event led to an interview, and today he is at Mercer, assisting the Toronto leadership team with various internal initiatives and client projects.

Somas’ experience at Mercer has been absolutely incredible so far. He is excited about every new day at work, eager to collaborate in the consulting projects he is involved in. He has found a community at Mercer, under the visionary leadership of Angelita and Jaqui.

In his own words: “relocating to Canada was a novel experience! It was a bit overwhelming at the start, but everything changed after my fateful meeting with CultureLink. They were instrumental in me keeping the momentum, and not lose track when it came to me finding my ideal job here. The staff’s proactive style, deep expertise in their domain, constant updates about the industry and very human-centric approach helped me immensely in landing this internship role at Mercer”.

Jaqui Parchment, CEO of Mercer Canada

Angelita Graham, Office Leader of Mercer Toronto

Jaqui’s goal is to empower colleagues from coast to coast to improve the Health, Wealth and Careers of Mercer’s clients, their employees and communities. Angelita is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within the industry and within Mercer, where she led the Toronto chapter of the Women@Mercer business resource group for five years.




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