Vannia and Salman– an ERIEC Connector Story

The Connector Program is a networking initiative that connects professional immigrants to help them broaden their professional connections through “one-on-one” meetings with established business leaders/peers who work in the same field.

Vannia (left) and Salman (right)

Salman Ghafouri, Founder of Melanite Group Limited met with Vannia Gonzales over coffee at a café in South Edmonton on a cold February day.

Salman who is also a professional immigrant shared valuable insights to Vannia, who is looking forward to establish a career in Engineering in the Edmonton Region.

Salman shared, “We took some time to get to know a bit more about each other’s background. I then spoke about my journey as an immigrant from the first few months when I was desperately seeking for a professional job to the following years when I successfully landed several positions and moved up year after year, to eventually becoming a business owner and an entrepreneur. We discussed that if we stay strong and have a never give up attitude throughout this journey, we will soon see the light at the end of the tunnel. On the other hand, I highlighted the importance of being open to changes whenever required. Especially in the existing economy, switching to other industries could be the way to go given the limited number of opportunities within the oil and gas industry in Alberta. Finally, we chatted about some of the benefits of acquiring a Canadian degree/certificate/diploma. I mentioned some stories of people who invested in their education and professional development which very soon led into better employment outcomes.”

Vannia also shared that she enjoyed the time talking with Salman. “He explained to me both sides of the employment process – starting from the newcomer’s expectation as well as the employers’ perspectives. Fortunately, Salman also shared several tips about reaching contacts from my past sectors, contemplating specialized training and reviewing thoroughly my resume. I’m very thankful to his precise insights that will absolutely enhance my professional development.”

If you are a professional immigrant and a permanent resident, currently based in Edmonton, and interested in ERIEC’s Connector Program, contact the ERIEC office for more details. If you are a business leader and are in the habit of making introducing and connecting people to opportunities, we invite you to participate as a volunteer Connector!

For more information on the Connector Program, please contact Sarah Tangan, Connector Coordinator, at 780-497-8866 or [email protected]