“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.”
(Paul J. Meyer)
January 18, 2017 was a special day for World Skills and will be remembered very fondly by those who attended the launch of World Skills’ Alumni Connections Program which was sponsored by Accenture.
This year, World Skills Employment Centre will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary and it seems fitting that we started the Alumni Program for an organization which has served over 20,000 clients in the last 20 years.
The first Alumni Event was held in 2015 and was sponsored by Willis College, so we were very happy to have them as part of our celebration again this year. La Cité Collégiale also sponsored part of the event and we are very grateful for this partnership in the launch of the Alumni Connections Program.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.“
(Robert Louis Stevenson)
In his opening remarks, Mengistab Tsegaye, Executive Director of World Skills Employment Centre, gave a short history of World Skills which started with seed funding in 1997. He highlighted a few of the successful past programs of the organization:
The Bridge Training Program for Internationally Trained Teachers was run in early 2000 and graduated over 75 teachers. Many of these teachers are currently working in the education system right here in Ottawa.
The Employer Council of Champions started in 2015 with a specific mandate to increase the hiring of newcomers in Ottawa. The Council was championed by 33 major employers in Ottawa.
The Federal Internship for Newcomers Program includes now over 500 alumni who have been hired by the Federal Government through this initiative.
“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.”
Robyn Stewart – Management Consulting Manager & Corporate Citizenship Lead, and Colin Fang – Consulting Analyst & Charity Relationship Lead from Accenture, congratulated World Skills Employment Centre on the launch of the Alumni Connections Program. They delivered a presentation on Career Growth and Progression, and one of the key highlights was the concept of thinking digitally: “Every role is a digital role and every leader should be a digital leader.” Robyn stressed that in order to develop a “future-proof” career one must think ahead and focus on the transferability of skills and experience. She encouraged the Alumni to “Go above and beyond and to do something that helps your employer that is not considered part of your job description.” She noted that innovation, mentoring, networking are also all key factors to be considered in career growth and development.
“What we think, we become.”
Two of our past Alumni, Dorra Gdoura, Program Manager at La Cite Collegiale, and Aurelian Tanase, Nuclear Engineer and Technical Specialist with the Nuclear Safety Commission, shared their personal experience with World Skills Employment Centre and encouraged newcomers to continue developing their skills and talents in Canada. Most importantly, they demonstrated that career growth is possible by taking consistent actions in pursuing further studies, holding informational interviews, seeking feedback, networking and planning for personal development.
Special recognition was given to Mayank Sharma who started the TD VISMIN Mentorship Program with World Skills Employment Centre in 2010. Mayank has continued to champion this program at TD. Ninety-three newcomer mentees and seventy-eight mentors have benefited from the program. Alumni like Mayank, demonstrate the impact that one person can have in creating employment paths and new networks for the newcomer community.
Participants were invited to participate in round table discussions, share their experiences and exchange ideas about career growth, in topics such as:
“The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.”
The next event for World Skills’ Alumni will take place in August, this year.
Many thanks to all our staff, volunteers, speakers and alumni who made this evening very special.
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