Hundreds of recent immigrants attended MOSAIC’s Immigrant Professionals Conference on Saturday, October 21st. The free event was sponsored by RBC and hosted at the Hilton Hotel near Metrotown in Burnaby. It provided advice and strategies, along with encouragement to newcomers looking to transition or re-establish professional careers in Canada.
Husband and wife keynote speakers, Manu and Ria Chopra, opened the event with the compelling and emotional story of their arrival and subsequent struggle to establish themselves in Canada. With Manu now successful in writing and producing Hollywood films, and Ria owning her own catering business, the Chopras inspired the audience with their messages to commit to working hard to achieve your goals, being kind to yourselves during the process, and to “dreaming big”.
The conference was organized with three break-out sessions in both the morning and afternoon and concluded with the Successful Immigrants’ Panel, a recurring popular highlight of the event. This year’s panel featured Salvador Balthazar (BDC), Paola Andrade-Fairey (BC Hydro), and Mohammed Alsaleh (Refugee Sponsorship Training Program).
The event, returning for its fourth consecutive year, won accolades from attendees with comments including “excellent,” “highly recommended,” “amazing” and necessary as well as observations including “I leave this conference with lots of ideas,” “it inspires new immigrants” and “it was motivating, encouraging and well-organized”.
Larry Chan, MOSAIC’s Senior Manager of Employment Programs, was particularly pleased to hear many delegates felt that the conference inspired them and boosted their confidence regarding their own futures. “Well-educated newcomers generally have a higher unemployment rate and it can take them longer to find work that is related to their education, training or skill set. Because MOSAIC works with many of these professionals, we see first-hand the toll that an uncertain future takes on them emotionally and financially. This conference was conceived to address these issues and to provide encouragement so it’s very satisfying to hear from delegates that this is achieved on many levels.”
The MOSAIC Immigrant Professionals Conference was created to offer inspiration, encouragement and advice to newcomers on how to continue their professional advancement in Canada. To learn more, please visit ipc.mosaicbc.org.