On February 18, World Skills hosted a virtual event to celebrate the 10-Year Anniversary of the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program (FIN) and its alumni. What a wonderful occasion it was!
Over 100 clients, FIN alumni, public servants, World Skills staff and partners joined from across Canada. The event ended officially at 7:30 pm and over 70 people were still glued to their screens absorbing the beautiful energy brought about by the inspiring and powerful testimonials shared by the participants.
Corinne Prince, Director General at IRCC and founder of the program gave a heartfelt speech recounting the successful outcomes of FIN since its inception and she called it a “gem”. Meghan Lau, Deputy Director at Global Affairs Canada shared her impressions of being a first-time manager of a FIN intern and described how she was so impressed with the quality of the candidates that she had the chance to interview and the talent and knowledge that her new colleague brings to the team. Glenda Pomroy, a senior employee with ESDC in St. John’s also told participants how her experience as a mentor of a FIN intern has been a life-changing one.
The alumni who shared their stories of success were Raquel Padua, Sazlin Ahmad, and Klodiana Puro, from Ottawa, Yilan Yang from Halifax, and Ajoy Ghosh from St. John’s. The common denominator was appreciation for the help they received from the Immigrant Serving Organizations that supported them during the FIN application process and their commitment to do their best and achieve success in their careers, which they have all done with the help of FIN, congratulations!
Claire Forman, Assistant Director of the FIN Program at IRCC said how for her and her team, matching qualified FIN candidates with hiring managers in government departments, feels like the best job and they get to do that not only in the National Capital Region but also in five other cities across Canada.
Magdalene Cooman, Senior Director and Mengistab Tsegaye, Executive Director at World Skills, described how the FIN Program started as a pilot with HRSDC, now ESDC, where about 10 newcomers received temporary placements with the federal government. Mengis also thanked all the partners who have collaborated and have been part of FIN since it began with a special mention to Hire Immigrants Ottawa and to OCISO, who deliver the mentorship component of the program.
Ledianis Rivero Sosa, who manages the FIN program at World Skills, closed the event by thanking the talented newcomers who apply to FIN every year “I’d like to give special thanks to our clients! (…) You are the reason why we’re here today celebrating your successes and aspirations; we promise that we will continue improving ourselves to offer excellent service and to accompany you in your integration journey.”
It was a successful event and everyone left feeling inspired by the beautiful testimonials that were shared about how the FIN Program has positively affected the lives of so many people since 2010.
The event was organized by the FIN team at World Skills, Skye Hines, Jakeline Celis, Fouzia Regoug, Shabana Ansari, and Ledianis Rivero Sosa, in collaboration with OCISO and with the support of the FIN team at IRCC. Soophia Ahmad, Senior Program Advisor with the FIN Program at IRCC said “Every single minute of it was so heart-warming and so special (…). Thank you so much for the dedication and sheer hard work that went into making this celebration possible.”