Smart Connections May 30 – The Successful Aftermath

Our first event for this year’s Smart Connections program series was themed Nailing the Networking Event, hosted by the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC ) and was held on May 30th, 2019 at the Matrix Hotel, Edmonton. A total of 176 internationally educated professionals attended the event!

Doug Piquette, Executive Director of ERIEC, kicked-off the event by both welcoming and challenging all the participants to “connect, learn and most importantly, apply what you learn” from the day’s workshop.

The keynote speaker was Jeannie Vaage, a certified corporate and international protocol consultant, who provided her own challenge to the audience by asking them to be champions of the principles of professionalism. Her analogies and sense of humour captivated the audience as they listened and practiced her professionalism principles. One main take away was the value of a person’s name. An interactive and funny exercise made the audience realize to “pause” and deliver their names with pride and importance. At the end of the session, everyone are motivated to apply these principles which for some may seem simple but this type of business etiquette may make or break a potential connection.

The second part of the morning included a robust panel of Human Resource expertise: Jennifer Weenk, Government of Alberta; Aly Moorji, City of Edmonton; Sumira Duggal, Canadian Western Bank and; Tonya Holowitski, Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA Alberta). The panel shared important information regarding the hiring process of employers and answered some core job search questions such as: pre-screening process; resume and cover letter selection and; the job interview. CPA representative Javier Vinsome, who jumped in at the last moment as the Panel Moderator, skillfully facilitated the session and asked important and relevant questions from a newcomers/job seekers perspective. Javier ensured that each panel member had equal opportunities to share information on how to find success in the Canadian Labour Market.

At the end of the event several number of participants gathered around waiting for their turn to have a brief chat with each of the panelists, a testament to how important and salient the information was from the earlier discussion and how the content impacted the participants.

The mini market place was another success and was also very well attended. We thank all our exhibitors: Government of Alberta, City of Edmonton, CPA Alberta, Canadian Western Bank, NAIT, BusinessLink, Money Mentors and Wayfinders Business Cooperative.

Of course, we would also like to thank you to all of the participants, speakers and panelists, community partners, employers and volunteers for their contribution and collaboration in helping to make another great ERIEC event!
ERIEC Team