“Last year I was in the audience like you and was inspired by the speakers. Now I’m back a year later presenting on my success,” said Ashraf Mohammed, Fairleigh Dickinson University Professor during the fourth BC Immigrant Professionals Conference Saturday.
Ashraf is a former client of ISSofBC’s Skills Connect for Immigrants Program. With the assistance of ISSofBC and the lessons learned last year at the Immigrant Professionals Conference, Ashraf achieved his career goal of becoming a university professor.
Ashraf’s story was one the many client successes shared during the conference to the over 500 participants who attended the day’s event.
He said the process of achieving his career goal was very challenging but he learned many valuable lessons along the way including the importance of being open and accepting of Canadian culture in order to succeed.
He said he did this by volunteering, joining clubs and networking in his community.
In addition to the client presentations, the BC Immigrant Professionals Conference included a variety of workshops, group sessions, employer panels and a keynote speech by Lionel Laroche, an internationally-renowned expert on the immigrant employment experience.
In his presentation he examined the root causes of why immigrants experience difficulties finding jobs in Canada and suggested practical solutions such as networking and improving their soft skills.
The event, at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, also hosted a number of booths from various organizations, banks and schools including Fairleigh Dickinson University, the Royal Bank of Canada, Back in Motion and ISSofBC.
The BC Immigrant Professionals Conference was sponsored by ISSofBC, MOSAIC and DIVERSEcity.