Symposium 2012

2012 Career Mentorship Symposium

Thank you to all the participants at the Symposium on March 7, 2012. The event was a great success, with 114 participants, including foreign-trained engineers, employers and service providers. We will be posting proceedings of the symposium soon.

Alberta’s economy is rapidly picking up again, and the Engineering industry is experiencing this more than most. According to, growth in engineering employment is well above the average for all employment in Alberta. Skilled immigrants are the largest solution to labour needs, but there are barriers to connecting Edmonton’s global talent with industry, as well as challenges with recruitment and retention.

ERIEC’s 2nd Annual Career Mentorship Symposium will provide resources and tools to employers as well as foreign-trained professionals, and focuses on the successful labour market integration of Edmonton’s pool of skilled immigrants!

The goal of the event is to connect Internationally Trained Engineers with local employers in the engineering field, and to provide opportunities for learning, networking and career development.

This one day symposium will provide a dynamic venue for local industry professionals and internationally trained engineers to network and learn.

Time: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Venue: Matrix Hotel, 10640–100 Ave, Edmonton

This is a cost free event.

For the Industry Professional:

  • Explore practical tools and strategies for interviewing culturally diverse candidates from Canada’s experts on hiring immigrants.
  • Identify best practices and tools for onboarding/retention of Edmonton’s global talent and enhance your organization’s intercultural competence.
  • Connect with job-ready, internationally-trained engineers and promote your organization as an employer of choice.
  • Demonstrate corporate leadership and a commitment to a diverse workforce.

For the Immigrant Professional:

  • Gain valuable professional development advice that you can apply to effectively navigate Edmonton’s labour market in the field of engineering.
  • Learn information about resumes and interviews from industry HR professional.
  • Participate in a motivation and informative session from one of Canada’s leading speakers on immigration and diversity.
  • Gain experience and knowledge of Canadian culture as it relates to the field of engineering.
  • Network with industry professionals



For industry professionals, please register here.

For immigrant professionals, you need to contact your career coach or call Jill at 780–497-8866 or email [email protected] to register.

Registration deadline: March 2, 2012

Session and Presenter Information:

Breakout #1a – Interviewing Culturally Diverse Candidates (for industry professionals)

This session will consist of a walk-through of, a one-stop shop website providing employers with the tools and resources they need to better recruit, retain and promote skilled immigrant talent. Touching on each stage of an organization’s human resources life cycle, profiles relevant examples and innovative practices of employers across the country. The purpose of this website is to assist hiring decision makers and business leaders – who drive Canada’s economy – to source, select, and develop skilled immigrants as creative contributors to the Canadian workforce. Participants will also gain insight on interviewing culturally diverse candidates and will take part in a fun and interactive interviewing simulation exercise.

Presenter: Munira Ravji, Marketing and Partnership Specialist, ALLIES/Maytree, Toronto, ON

Munira Ravji is the Marketing and Partnership Specialist with ALLIES (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies), Munira supports local efforts and employers in Canadian cities to successfully adapt and implement programs that further the suitable employment of skilled immigrants. Through a series of multi-stakeholder initiatives, ALLIES and local partners contribute to building a stronger Canada by using the talents, connections and experience of skilled immigrants who have made Canada their new home. She is also responsible for the marketing of and roadmap tool, both being valuable resources aimed at employers who are interested in, or already successfully recruiting, integrating and retaining skilled immigrant talent here in Toronto, and across Canada.

Breakout #1b – Insider Advice on Marketing Yourself (for immigrant professionals)

This session will provide insight into effective self-marketing, including the following:

  • How to create a compelling and professional resume
  • How to give yourself the best chance to make it to an interview
  • Once in the interview, things you should and shouldn’t say
  • What to do after the interview

Presenter: Michael Gentry, VP Human Resources, Stantec, Edmonton, AB

Mike Gentry was educated at the University of Phoenix: Human Resources Management. For over 30 years Mike has been a Senior Human Resources leader with strategic and tactical experience in employee relations, compensation, staffing, benefit design/administration, policy development, leadership development, training, conflict resolution, SOX compliance and maintaining a union free work environment.

Mike has been a VP, Operations for Semblant Technologies, responsible for Human Resources, External Operations, Procurement and alliance negotiations. He also lead all HR functions for Corporate and Las Vegas properties supporting 10,000+ team members of The Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Prior to that Mike supported HR functions for 24,000 employees located in the US, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, Korea, Japan, China and France for Amkor Technology Inc. His stint with The Boeing Company, as Director, Corporate Employee & Union Relations, saw his responsibilities focus on the design, implementation and audit of Employee Relations policies, programs and practices in all their US facilities. Mike held a similar position with McDonnell Douglas Helicopters prior to Boeing.

Keynote Speaker: Nick Noorani, President & CEO, Destination Canada Information Inc, Vancouver, BC

Nick Noorani – 6 Win-Win Strategies for Hiring, Retaining and Leveraging Immigrants

Hiring and retaining immigrants in the Canadian labour market is no longer a matter of “what if” or “one day.” Our demographics demand it. Smart business practices depend on it. And it’s the right thing to do. Immigrants in our workplaces are here to stay — now the only question left is what to do with them. How can employers treat them fairly and leverage what they have to offer for everyone’s benefit? Immigrant advocate and diversity expert Nick Noorani will explain his “6 Win-Win Strategies for Hiring, Retaining and Leveraging Immigrants.” These strategies cover the basics of hiring and retaining immigrants in today’s labour market, from interviewing best practices to mentorship initiatives. But, beyond that, Nick will explain how you can leverage the benefits immigrant employees bring to your organization, creating a win-win scenario for all.

When Nick Noorani speaks, he inspires his audience of Canadian immigrants into action. Why? Because he’s been in their shoes. Like the newcomers who come listen to his marquee speech “7 Success Secrets for Canadian Immigrants,” Nick came to Canada in 1998 with hopes for a better life.

Born in Mumbai, India, Nick came with a world of international experience in the advertising business, but he faced many challenges in his new Canadian home, and he noticed that many other immigrants were also struggling.

The savvy marketer recognized an opportunity — not to mention an important social cause — when he saw one and, in 2000, Nick co-authored the hugely successful book Arrival Survival Canada, subsequently published by Oxford University Press. The idea for spinning the book into a monthly magazine, Canadian Immigrant, came to Nick in a dream. He launched Canada’s first national magazine for all immigrants in 2004 and later sold the magazine to the Star Media Group in Toronto in 2007, while retaining his position as publisher. Nick also developed the magazine’s Lilian To Scholarship, giving away $55,000 of education to newcomers annually, and its national Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.

But for Nick, the magazine has always been just one part of a journey that earned him the sobriquet “social entrepreneur and immigrant advocate.” In 2005, he became the host of his own weekly radio show called “Ask Nick” on Radio Canada International. In 2008, Nick launched an online networking site called And, in addition to countless hours spent volunteering with newcomers one-on-one, he has served on numerous community boards.

In August 2010, Nick resigned from the Canadian Immigrant magazine to launch Destination Canada Information Inc., a company dedicated to helping international students and immigrants before they arrive in Canada. He continues to speak to thousands of immigrants, inspiring them to go after success, as well as speaking to audiences of employers, service providers and stakeholders who work with or support immigrants in Canada.

Breakout #2a – Onboarding/Retention of Internationally Trained Employees (for industry professionals)

This interactive, collaborative session will seek to identify some best practices and tools for the onboarding and retention of internationally trained professionals. Participants will be encouraged to engage one another and speak to their own personal experiences, to highlight challenges, successes, potential blindspots, and lessons learned in their own organizations. Jake will bring his experiences as a linguistic and intercultural researcher in multiple workplace contexts, from health care to industry, and guide the discussion towards practical suggestions for creating a more integrated diverse workforce

Presenter: Jake Evans, Intercultural Communication Facilitator, Centre for Excellence in Intercultural Education, NorQuest College, Edmonton, AB

Jake Evans graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in EAS and Linguistic Anthropology, and shortly thereafter moved to Vancouver to complete his CELTA at Kwantlen University College. Upon completion he accepted a position designing and delivering rural-based ESP to the UCA (Unión de Cooperativas Agropecuarias) Miraflor in northern Nicaragua. Six months of ice-cold showers convinced him a more urban experience was called for, and he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina where he worked as a language consultant, primarily delivering ESP at the managerial level in large multinational corporations (such as HSBC and Roche), but also designing curriculum, translating, and training cross-culturally. Jake works as an intercultural communications facilitator with the Centre for Excellence in Intercultural Education where he’s engaged in applied linguistic and intercultural research and in delivering intercultural and ELT workshops for corporate clients for NorQuest College. He is bilingual (English/ Spanish) and is currently doing his Master’s degree in International Relations at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

Breakout #2b – 7 Success Secrets for Canadian Immigrants (for immigrant professionals)

This no-nonsense presentation answers the age-old question: what do I need to do to succeed in Canada? It provides immigrants with tips they can put to use immediately – secrets that were developed by interviewing accomplished immigrants in Canada, to get at the reasons for their success. Their answers were turned into a seminar that has already benefitted thousands of immigrants.

Nick Noorani, President & CEO, Destination Canada Information Inc, Vancouver, BC

See above for bio.

An Immigrant Journey: From China to Edmonton

Susan will share her experience as an internationally trained engineer and her efforts to establish herself professionally in Edmonton.

Presenter: Susan Liu, Mechanical Engineer in Training, Hyduke Energy Services , Nisku, AB

In June 2008, Susan travelled across the world from China to Canada with the hope of giving her son a better future. Despite having a university degree in mechanical engineering and 10 years work experience in the field, she still experienced barriers to finding a professional job in Canada. Susan will share her journey and experiences toward establishing her professional career in Edmonton.


An opportunity to network and connect employers and service providers to Internationally Trained Professionals. Internationally Trained Professionals can browse the marketplace to learn about services available and gather corporate information. Employers can secure a table to present corporate materials, swag or other information, and meet skilled engineers who are looking for employment.

ERIEC thanks the following organizations for their support and sponsorship of this event: