About Us – Career Loans
Internationally trained and looking to get back in your field? We can help! Register Now

About Us

Career Loans empowers Internationally Trained Individuals (ITI's) in Alberta and Saskatchewan to achieve their career goals. The program provides free one-on-one employment and financial counselling and micro loans to eligible applicants.

Career Loans is a virtual program and is especially designed to help newcomers who encounter barriers in having their credentials recognized, or face challenges in securing funding to get re-certified.

Eligible candidates are able to receive loans of $1,500 to $15,000, which can be used towards training, assessment, accreditation, exams, licensing and membership fees, and any required materials. Loan recipients have up to four years to pay off these low-interest loans, and will continue to receive personalized employment and financial counselling  throughout.

On an individual basis, clients are also referred to local based service providers in Alberta and Saskatchewan for services that can enable them to fulfill their potential.

Launched in 2019, this program is funded by Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and coordinated by Achēv.

Our Team


Sonja Johnson

I have worked 20+ years in various non-profit, banking and NGO organisations in the Caribbean, UK and Canada. I have a Masters in International Business and Management from the University of Westminster (London, UK) and a BSc. in Professional Management from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, USA. I come with 15+ years of management experience in empowering staff, designing and implementing programs for newcomers and others in the under-served population. The reason I joined the non-profit sector is because it is the best platform for me to pursue my passion in making a positive impact on the economic empowerment for 2 key client groups; newcomers and start-up entrepreneurs.

Favorite motivational quote:

“To whom much is given, much is expected.”

Gavin Au-Yeung

While living abroad, I faced many challenges including cultural misunderstanding and language barriers. Thanks to the help of many kind people, I was able to live comfortably in an unfamiliar environment. I relate to the barriers faced by immigrants who are placed in a new country. As part of the Career Loans team, I’m excited at the opportunity to help Internationally Trained Individuals ease into the Canadian workplace. Being the Content Developer for Career Loans allows me to combine my passions for storytelling and helping others. My experience includes creating digital content for websites, blogs, and social media management. I am excited at this opportunity to contribute to something really special.

Favourite motivational quote:

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take”

Charles Curl

I have extensive experience as a Web Developer/Webmaster with a passion for computers and technology since my first Commodore VIC-20 at 10 years old. In the last 6 years I have specialized on the WordPress platform, which excitingly recently hit version 5.0. I’m a technology buff and always looking for the latest greatest tech gear. In my off time I’m a golfer, gamer, and snowboarder. I enjoy assembling computers and gaming machines and all electronics. I hope to serve your technical needs during this exciting process, and help you on your way as an Internationally Trained Professional.

Favourite Quote:

"The best thing about a Boolean is that even if you are wrong, you're only off by a bit."

Cheryl Murray

I am a pragmatic Career and Work Counsellor/coach. In my 20 years career in Social and Employment Services, I have established over 15,000 expert hours of coaching, mentoring, counselling, and supporting individuals of all diverse backgrounds. I have developed and co-developed workshops and programs in support of improving employability skills, life skills, personal development, financial stability and encouraging others in their career and life transformation. I have facilitated and coached over 1000 individuals – 1-on-1 and group – which has regenerated the lives of a diverse group of individuals, permanently altered their life trajectory throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

My life’s purpose, dedication, and commitment are to provide excellent service for all as I continue my growth in my life’s journey.

Favourite motivational quote:

An African Proverb – “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”

Venus Shafiei

I have been empowering Newcomers to realize their dreams in a new country that they called home for the past ten years, yet always were inspired by their resourcefulness and resilience in navigating their way to successful integration. My work is informed by staying current with the emerging practices as well as the lived experiences of my clients. I have been supporting immigrant families with children with their initial settlement needs, professional newcomers with credential evaluations and navigating the employment opportunities by alliance building with my Newcomer clients to co-create an individual action plan for successful integration. I am an advocate of inclusive economies that celebrates the contributions of newcomer professionals and creates a stronger Canada.

When I am not helping clients, I am immersed in the beauty of nature and am grateful for this amazing journey of life.

Favourite motivational quote:

"What you seek is seeking you”

Rodika Barbu

I bring with me extensive experience as a Career Counsellor/Assessor/Case Manager and Financial Guidance Counsellor in non-profit sector. I am also experienced in working with Internationally Trained Professionals (ITPs), providing individual one-on-one support/counselling, employment and making financial informed decisions about training selection. I have a solid understanding of immigration issues in Canada and understand the current Immigration Act and policies. Some of my accomplishments include: interviewing clients individually to assess their employment situation, make informed referrals to community partners based on clients’ eligibility, developing and fostering relationships within the community, and building partnerships.

Favourite motivational quote:

“If you DREAM it, you can DO it.” -Walt Disney

PrepCan-Online Newcomer Information Centre is coordinated and funded by:

Centre for Education & Training Mississauga logo Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo

careerloans logo

Career Loans provides career counselling and micro loans to Internationally Trained Individuals in regulated and non-regulated occupations and trades, who are looking to return to their chosen profession.

Funded By:
Coordinated By:

logo tcet

Financial Partner:

logo HSBC

Privacy Policy

Terms of Use


"A daughter may outgrow your lap, but never your heart".
The Career Loans team wishes you all a Happy Daughter's Day! Enjoy the day with ... your little princess and take the time to celebrate.

#daughtersday #nationaldaughtersday

Join our FREE webinar on Exploring the Canadian work culture for newcomers and listen to our guest speakers from the Saskatchewan ... Intercultural Association. Learn how to be successful in the workplace

Are you a newcomer looking to enhance your skills to join the Canadian workforce?
Don't miss our FREE info session to learn how Career Loans... can help.
REGISTER NOW: https://careerloans.ca/sep28

Happy “Fun” Friday!
Yay! It is the last working day of the week.
Friday calls for some fun.
We got a meme for you and would like you to ... caption it. 🙂
#funfriday #games #memes #office #friday #work#employer#experience#time#fun

We’re excited to share that Achēv has been nominated for the 2022 Mississauga News Readers’ Choice Award in the best Non-Profit Agency,... Employment Agency and Adult Education categories! Vote for us at: https://bit.ly/3Rt7MRL
The voting lines will remain open until October 5.

Load More...

Latest Video

No videos found.


News item image

The Importance of Networking for Newcomers in Canada – Nov 9th

Learn everything you need to know about how networking helps you grow in your career

About this event
Learn from our guest speaker April, how you …

Read more
News item image

Bi-Weekly Info session September 28

Counsellor Cheryl Murray explains how Career Loans microloans and career counselling can help you return to your career of choice!

Internationally …

Read more
News item image

Exploring the Canadian Work Culture for Newcomers- Oct 5, 12pm MDT

Learn everything you need to know about the Canadian work culture as an internationally trained newcomer
Hear from our guest speakers Amee and …

Read more
News item image

Understanding Your Canadian Credit Score

As a newcomer, building and maintaining a good credit score is vital. Having a bad score can affect your chances at getting a loan approved, may cost …

Read more

PrepCan-Online Newcomer Information Centre is coordinated and funded by:

Centre for Education & Training Mississauga logo Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada logo


Career Loans continues to work diligently to support all clients during the pandemic. Our counsellors are available from Monday to Friday (8:30 am – 4:30 pm MT).

Skip to content