“Being connected to a motivated mentor is both,
priceless and a ‘must-have”
As many other fellow professional immigrants, I came looking for a better future for my family and myself, willing to give the best of me to thrive in this great country. My arrival in Canada was very recent: I fully immigrated—that is, quit my job and sold (almost) everything to start a new life – in July this year.
To provide some context, I am a Dominican professional with a BEng in Industrial Engineering (INTEC’07), a MEng in Engineering Management RIT’09) and a Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification. My experience expands through many sectors, starting in manufacturing and going through information technology (IT) and higher education; for employers such as Santo Domingo Institute of Technology (INTEC), GCS Systems (Dominican FinTech Startup), and Edwards Lifesciences (medical devices manufacturing). Upon my arrival, I knew very few people in the country, fewer in the GTA, and even fewer professionals with similar interests and profile that could, not only help me land my first Canadian experience but also guide me through the whole integration process.
Luckily, I have always believed in the power of networking through professional non-profit organizations. It worked wonderfully for me in my country, and I decided to give it a try in this new (and bigger) challenge. After ‘googling’ and the following link after link, I got in touch with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and—through their website – I landed (and subscribed) to Hispanotech. This is when I start reading about their successful 12-week Joint Mentorship Program aiming to “help internationally trained professionals make the transition to work in Canada, improve their skills and confidence while developing professional connections”. After applying to the program and being admitted, I have seen great results as early as its mid-term, generating the need to share my testimonial on how it is helping me achieve my objectives.
The coordination staff behind the program matched my profile with William Vargas, also a PMP with more than 15 years of experience providing IT and business consulting in the mining, insurance, and banking sectors (to name a few) for companies like Accenture, KPMG, and HQS Consulting (to name even fewer). His mentoring background is even more impressive: he has served as a mentor for MBA students at Schulich School of Business since 2014 and for immigrant professionals at Hispanotech since 2015. So far in the program, Mr. Vargas provided me clever insights, clear recommendations, and great feedback. He has helped me to clarify my professional objectives in Canada, improve my resume, practice my interview skills, and successfully land my first Canadian job at DellEMC Canada.
Formality is valuable, but flexibility is king, and one thing I have liked so far of Mr. Vargas’ approach to mentoring is his flexible and on-going way of communicating and working together. Always keeping a formal tone, we have managed to use WhatsApp, phone calls, email and casual meetings to work on the goals defined at the very beginning of the program. Thanks to Mr. Vargas’ guidance, the support of Hispanotech’s staff, and the necessary effort on my part, I have accelerated my integration within the professional Canadian labour market. By committing ourselves to work together since the beginning and respecting each other’s time and achievements, our mentor-mentee relationship is based on a cycle motivated towards reaching goals.
From my perspective, the clever mentor-mentee matching performed by the coordination staff and the great experience (and motivation) shown by this mentor, has made possible that this 12-week Joint Mentorship Program translates into great networking and real results. My commitment to the program, the willingness to use whatever channel is available to enable flexible communication, and the close and on-going follow-up by Hispanotech’s staff, have made possible for me to see the results that each of the organizations behind the program are expecting: “To make the transition to work in Canada by improving skills and confidence while developing professional connections”. This experience has made me believe even more firmly that being connected to a motivated mentor is both, priceless to any professional, and a must-have to those arriving at a new country.
Carlos Artilez, Meng, PMP