Apr 07, 2016


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Shannon van Leenen

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International Professionals Mentored Through Skype Program

The international professionals will take part in a pre-arrival mentorship initiative

CALGARY - SmartPathways, an innovative, new mentorship program designed to support internationally educated professionals before they arrive in Canada, is being launched at Bow Valley College (BVC) on April 7, 2016.

BVC, in partnership with the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), created SmartPathways to help international talent better understand the Canadian job market and workplace culture before their arrival.

"We envision an engineer from Peru, lawyer from Nigeria, or accountant from India benefitting from guidance and conversation about career paths in Alberta, which match their education, experience and aspirations. Imagine learning about the job market, networking opportunities and connecting with a mentor before you arrive in Calgary - you can hit the ground running," said Bruce Randall, Executive Director at CRIEC.

SmartPathways will give immigrant professional the tools they need to start building their new career, before they leave their home country. The online program includes:

  • Online training that is self-paced and interactive (15-20 hours).
  • Job skills toolkit: tips for building resumes, cover letters and interview techniques.
  • Real-time connections with a career coach (two times).
  • Skype calls with a Calgary mentor (3 to 4 times).

"We are very excited about this innovative program. The use of Skype will allow internationally educated professionals to make real connections with their mentors, and the online training will help them understand the Calgary job market. Once they arrive, they will already have a friend in Calgary and that will help speed up their integration as they apply for any new qualifications, and build their job search network," said Laurel Madro, program coordinator, BVC.  

The program will begin accepting candidates in early May, 2016. BVC is currently looking for individuals who might be interested in being an online mentor for a new international talent overseas. For further details please go to  

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Bow Valley College is Calgary and region's only Comprehensive Community College. With more than 15,000 full- and part-time students, BVC is a leader in business and health career training, adult upgrading, and English Language Learning. BVC's Test of Workplace Essential Skills, workplace training for immigrant professionals and employment services provide a wide range of services for businesses and professionals. 

Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC) builds pathways and positive relationships between Calgary employers and internationally trained professionals that encourage hiring and retention.  

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the national and international voice of Canada's publicly supported colleges, institutes and polytechnics. Its members work with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities in Canada. The association operates in 29 countries via 12 offices around the world.

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