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Immigrants of Toronto
12 minutes | a month ago
Ep #41: How to Build a Professional Network
Today I’ll be giving some tips on how to build a professional network. So, if you’re curious about how it’s done, keep on listening! Let me start with my own experience. When I moved here I didn’t know anyone. My wife had a friend who had a friend living in Toronto, but it wasn’t anyone we’ve ever talked to or even met. To be honest, I had a small advantage. As I immigrated as a student, I automatically joined a group of people that were forced to see each other every day for a few hours, at least. So that helped. However, most college students are in their twenties, not mid-thirties as I was. So, while some of them were talking about going clubbing, I was thinking about grabbing a coffee after school and then head back home. So, I’m sure I’m pretty close to the perfect example of the worst-case scenario when you move to a new country. Building a professional network can be challenging Building a network, especially when you don’t even have a place to start can be challenging. In episode 37 I talked about building meaningful relationships and how they help as a newcomer so I’m not going to go into detail about how to do that. No, in today’s episode, I’ll be talking about building a professional network. Which, although they may be related, you may want to tackle them in different ways. For example, you will send a “Happy anniversary” message to your network when LinkedIn tells you that they’ve been at a job for a certain number of years. But, you will call your friends, your meaningful relationships, on their birthday. The thing is that your business network can be as big as you want it to be. While your close friends can, usually, be counted using your hands. There is so much to talk about on how to build a network, but, for the sake of time, I will focus on a high-level approach to it. Step 1: Define your objectives First of all, you need to have clear objectives about why you’re doing this. Ask yourself the question, why do I want a professional network? The key to the question is the verb “want,” it’s not “need,” it’s “want.” You are doing this because you want to, it’s your choice. Now, don’t answer something like “because I need a job” or “because everyone else is saying I need one.” There are many people out there that have gotten good jobs by applying through LinkedIn. I was one of them. And, even though it didn’t help me to get that job, I continued building it. And I continue doing it until this day. So, before you answer why you want a professional network, think about your priorities. Do you want to meet people to get a position within their team? Or are you meeting with people because you want advice from them? Or are you most interested in meeting like-minded people to bounce ideas off? There is no right or wrong answer, but each one of us has a different one. So, think about yours before you move to the next step. Step 2: Reach out to people This may be harder for some people. Especially if you’re not the outgoing type of person. However, what I’ve seen is that if you have a clear view of why you want to build a network, this step comes naturally. When we want something, we go for it. When you want to ask someone out, you do it. Even if every part of your body is giving you signals not to. You shake, you get butterflies in your stomach, you sweat, but, somehow, you manage to utter the words “would you go out with me?” And then, if you’re lucky, you get a yes from an answer. On a different level, this is the same thing. By not approaching people, you already have a No for an answer. So, what do you have to lose? If you can approach someone else’s contact, that’s even better. I’m way more open to grab a coffee with people that someone from my network recommends than with a stranger. Or, even better, if you’ve already impressed this person, even in a casual conversation. They’ll be way more likely to say yes and meet with you for the first time. In episode #29 I talk about the importance of volunteering. And part of the things I said then was that it’s a great way to start your network. “Hey, remember that day when we were volunteering?” And the conversation flows from there. Step 3: Be empathetic I can’t stress this enough. There’s nothing I hate more than meeting someone new that only cares about themselves. There have been occasions when I meet someone and, after an hour, I know everything about them but they know nothing about me. And it’s just that they never cared to ask. We like to feel that we matter. If someone reaches out to me and is interested in my life, how I got here, my experience, all that, it’s more likely that I’ll have a good time and, maybe, later I’ll reach out to have another coffee. You never know. I remember a joke I heard like 20 years ago, I think it was a cartoon. The guy said something like “I’m tired of talking about me, now tell me what you think about me.” It was hilarious, it was way funnier than what I just said, but you get my point. What I want to say is that there is no way the other person will care about you if you don’t care about them first. Step 4: Prepare your elevator pitch but don’t use it. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Meeting someone that you want to be part of your network is not like going to a job fair. You know what you bring to the table, write it down as your elevator pitch, but don’t open the conversation saying something like “Hello, I’m Oscar, I have more than 20 years of experience in IT and blah, blah, blah. Nobody cares, they can see that on your LinkedIn profile. But, because this is a professional connection, you want them to leave the meeting with that information. So, maybe, when you are talking about how you got started in the business, you can tell the story of how, 20 years ago, you got your first job in IT. Trust me, an elevator pitch is highly overrated. It’s important to do it because it’s important that you can summarize what you bring to the table in less than a minute. But you don’t need to memorize it, you know it already. The way you deliver the information is more important than how fast you do it. Step 5: Keep in touch So, at this point, let’s assume you already met someone, you had a nice conversation, and they left knowing what your value is. Could be for their team, for their company, or just for them to have it in mind if something comes up. Now, it’s time to make sure you keep in touch with your network. The easiest way to do it is through LinkedIn. Most professionals use it and they’re active on it. Not as active as other social networks, but still active. A great way to stay in touch with your network is by remembering what you talked about with them. Let’s say I have a conversation with John the Designer, who reached out to me via LinkedIn, and during our meeting, I mentioned that I love video games. And then, a month later, John the Designer, who I might have already forgotten about, sends me a link about video games with the note “I thought this might interest you.” By doing this, John achieved two things. First, I know he was listening to what I was saying, it was not only about him. And second, he made me remember that he’s part of my network. So, maybe, next time a friend is recruiting a Designer, I’d send an email connecting them saying “Hey, John is a Designer, he might be a good fit for your team.” Now you know how to build your professional network So, to wrap up. There are five basic steps to start building a network in a new country. Especially if you come, like me, without any connections. Define your objectives Reach out to people Be empathetic Prepare your elevator pitch but don’t use it Keep in touch As always, there is no perfect strategy for anything. This has been mine and, after seven years, I’ve built a good professional network. But, it may not be for you. So just take what you think will work for you and do it. It’s better to do it now and fail, than wait to have the perfect strategy and waste valuable time. And remember. As I always say. Even if it’s a professional network, everything is about personal relationships. Very few people will recommend someone they don’t like. So, just keep that in mind. Subscribe & Follow! Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts! And, if you haven’t done so already, follow Immigrants of Toronto on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on social media, I reply to every message I receive. If this podcast has helped you in any way, I really want to hear about it! You can go to the website and click on Send Voicemail and leave a sweet message that I will most certainly feature on an episode. Honestly, every time I hear that what I’m doing is helping, it makes all the effort worthy. Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form to schedule your interview. Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep #40: Let’s Talk Mental Health
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Sneha Gaikwad. She moved from India to Toronto, and she shares how pursuing her mental health helped her make this decision. Subscribe to the Podcast If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn. Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and you want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch shortly after receiving your submission. Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena and this is Immigrants of Toronto. About Sneha Gaikwad I am Sneha Gaikwad. I am an aspiring world-class Storyteller and a Spiritual Life Coach. Besides that, I am also an average millennial working in Human Resources, living it up in one of the most magnificent cities to live in the world I also call home, the beautiful city of Toronto. I immigrated to Toronto, Canada, over 9 years ago and have not looked back since. My decision to immigrate to a country where I had no friends and family though seemed more impractical and stupid than bold at the time, is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I use my experience as a first-generation immigrant and winning battles against chronic Anxiety and Depression through it to help people struggling with similar issues. I am a huge advocate of mental health and self-care; I coach people through their holistic healing journeys using Reiki healing techniques and nutrition. Get in touch with Sneha www.soulsne.ca Instagram Twitter
7 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep #39: Thanksgiving, Latin American Heritage Month, and embracing new traditions
For many of us who moved to Canada from the western world, many Canadian traditions are very similar to the ones we had at home. But what about the new ones? Today, Oscar Cecena will be talking about Thanksgiving, the Latin American month, and the importance of embracing new traditions. Canada, as most of the western world, has many Christian traditions Canada, as most of the western world, has many Christian traditions. Some so deeply engraved into the culture that we don’t even question if they are religious festivities or not. The best example is Christmas. All over the western world, Christmas day is a statutory holiday. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not, you have a day off. I love Christmas. It has always been my favourite holiday. This may sound a little weird for some people as I’m not religious, and I grew up in an atheist family. However, in Mexico, the vast majority of the population is Catholic, so at some point, Christmas day stopped being only a religious holiday and became a tradition. Canada celebrates Christmas day, so I didn’t really have to embrace a new tradition. However, most other holidays were entirely new to me. Especially Thanksgiving. Why was Thanksgiving so new to me, you may ask? Well, there are many factors. To start, Thanksgiving corresponds to the European Harvest Festival and marks the end of the harvest season. I grew up in Mexico, a warmer country, where winters are so mild that harvest season lasts longer. Another reason why Thanksgiving was so new is that, in my country, we don’t have a history where pilgrims escaped their homes to avoid religious persecution. In Mexico, our traditions are permeated by thousands of years of the mesoamerican civilizations. So, it’s hard for me to identify myself with the main reason for the Thanksgiving celebration. This is why the first few years we lived in Canada, we didn’t really celebrate Thanksgiving. At most, we gathered a few friends and dined together. And, of course, there was always someone who toasted for all the good things that happened, and we were “thankful” for everything we’ve found in this country. But it took me a while to get used to this new celebration. Latin American Heritage Month Now I’m going to switch topics quickly and talk about Latin American Heritage Month, which is relatively new. It was proclaimed by the Parliament of Canada on June 21, 2018, to allow Canadians to recognise the valuable contribution of members of the Latin American community to this country. Whether it’s social, economic, political or cultural, the Latin American community has contributed quite a bit to this country. So, as you can imagine, I’m more drawn to the Latin American Heritage month than to Thanksgiving. I identify myself as Latin American. It started just a couple of years ago, and it’s aligned with how I was raised. Canada is an immigrant-friendly country Canada is considered an immigrant-friendly country. Especially Toronto, where half the population wasn’t born here. Like recognising Latin-American contributions to society, these types of things the government does for us are steps towards an inclusive community. So, as immigrants, we also need to take some steps towards them so we can meet halfway. I’m not saying that we should renounce our traditions. But one of the most important things we can do to blend in the culture is to embrace the Canadian traditions that, even though maybe new to us, we live them every day. I mean, we do it with the language. Our language is something that defines who we are, how we think, and we are willing to leave it at home and speak English as soon as we step out the door. If my neighbour holds the elevator door for me, I’m not going to say, “Gracias,” I’m going to say, “Thanks,” or “Thank you,” if I’m feeling formal. And the same thing happens at home. I’m not going to speak to my wife in English. We both grew up speaking Spanish, so it wouldn’t make any sense to do it. Now I celebrate Thanksgiving Now, going back to the initial topic. When I celebrate Thanksgiving is not because I identify myself with the pilgrims. I celebrate it because it’s an important holiday for Canadian culture. A culture that I decided to embrace when I moved here. The last thing I want to mention is that from the most pragmatic point of view, as immigrants, we come with our own traditions, and we can celebrate those with people from our own country. For example, when I celebrate Mexico’s independence day, I do it with Mexicans because, let’s be real, no one besides us cares about that day. Which, fun fact for all non-Mexicans listening, it’s not Cinco de Mayo, Mexico’s independence day is on September 16. You’ve been misled by most bars and restaurants. Now, it is very likely that living in Canada (or Toronto in particular), you will befriend people from other countries as well. As I said, having a “neutral” holiday that immigrants don’t celebrate allows you to start building your own new traditions. Don’t forget that, as human beings, we need to feel that we belong somewhere. I hope you enjoyed this episode and let me know how you celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holiday that is new to you. And, especially if it’s something that has helped you reinforce the feeling that you belong here. Leave a voicemail, and I’ll add it to one of the upcoming episodes or, even better, come to the show and share your story yourself. Subscribe & Follow! Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts! And, if you haven’t done so already, follow Immigrants of Toronto on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on social media, I reply to every message I receive. If this podcast has helped you in any way, I really want to hear about it! You can go to the website and click on Send Voicemail and leave a sweet message that I will most certainly feature on an episode. Honestly, every time I hear that what I’m doing is helping, it makes all the effort worthy. Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form to schedule your interview. Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep #38: A Second Chance to Start from Scratch
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Aroop Rayu. She moved to Toronto from Kashmir, India, in 2018, excited to have a second chance to start from scratch. Subscribe to the Podcast If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn. Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and you want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch shortly after receiving your submission. Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena and this is Immigrants of Toronto. About Aroop Rayu High on life, Aroop left her job and busy social life in Delhi to set out on a new adventure called Canada! With her Master’s in Mass Communications and more than 7 years of experience in marketing and communications, Aroop’s life trajectory was similar to what most newcomers experience. Despite working with some globally prestigious brands, Toronto had something else in store for her. After spending more than two years in Toronto volunteering and networking, she met amazing people, developed great friendships, and finally started loving the city. She thinks snowfall is magical and she still needs help figuring directions – North, South, East and West! Get in touch with Aroop Instagram LinkedIn Twitter
7 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep #37: Meaningful Relationships
In this episode, Oscar Cecena talks about why forging meaningful relationships as new immigrants is important to adapt to the new life. Meaningful Relationships Let’s start by defining what they are. When I talk about meaningful relationships, I don’t mean romantic relationships only. I mean all relationships that are important to us. It could be your family, your friends, and, of course, your partner. These relationships play a vital role in our overall well-being. Research shows that people with supportive and rewarding relationships have better mental health and lower mortality rates. And this is something that we all know since we are children without being aware of it. As kids, your first meaningful relationships are with your immediate family. Then you grow up, and you start making friends that will, potentially, last a lifetime. Later in your life, you meet your significant other, and you get a new one. And so on and so forth. The point I want to make is that it doesn’t matter how old you are when you move to a new country, you’re going to leave a few of those meaningful relationships behind. And it’s heartbreaking. In my case, I had the fantastic opportunity to embark on this journey with my wife. But every other important person in my life was left behind. My family, my friends, everyone I cared for stayed in Mexico. Meaningful Relationships don’t need to last forever The good thing is that there’s no limit to the number of meaningful relationships you can have in your life. It’s also essential to understand that for these relationships to be significant, they don’t need to last forever. They could be temporary and still meaningful. Some immigrants I’ve met tell me they’ve found them, which is excellent. But the vast majority has told me they haven’t. They still don’t have a group of friends they can rely on for anything, as they had in their home countries. How can we forge meaningful relationships? So that brings me to the question, how can we forge meaningful relationships? Especially when we are in a new country, in a different culture, and speaking a language that is not our own. Unfortunately, there’s no manual or set of instructions to guide you step by step on how to do it. Each one of us is different. Therefore, we have different ways to do it, but what I can tell you is that finding a group of like-minded people will be a great start. I love video games, role-playing games, writing, photography, etc. So what I did was to look for a Dungeons & Dragons group first. I then looked for a writing group, and I’ve found incredible people who share the same interests and passions as I do. I know people who love cooking, so they get together once a week to share recipes and have a good time together. In previous episodes, I had Maz and Brian, who found those relationships through soccer. One as a coach and the other one as a player. Sharing a common interest will always help to form the bond that may lead to a meaningful relationship. We are too focused on getting a job that we leave relationships on the side Which brings me to the second point I want to talk about today. When we get here, we are so focused on getting a job that all our energy is spent there. Which leaves us with very little strength to forge these relationships. As humans, we tend to relegate our social life to the point where it becomes less important than our professional life, especially in a new country. The measurement of our success as new immigrants relies on the answer to the question: were we able to get a job in our field? And because of that, our whole mindset shifts. When we go to a networking event, we don’t think we’ll meet new friends. We go there to find a job. Don’t get me wrong. It is very possible to find useful connections and even a job at a networking event, but that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that those are two different things. I’m not saying don’t go to networking events; I’m saying, go to networking events but also take time to do something that you enjoy with other people. Even things that look entirely unproductive, like, in my case, playing video games. Pick something you love and find a group of people that love it as well If you take one thing out of this episode, I hope it is the idea of picking something you love and finding a group of people that share the same interest, so you can start building those meaningful relationships that we all crave. One last thing, I know with COVID and social distancing, it may sound unrealistic to do it. But there are always things you can do online. Let me tell you about my experience. I took a writing course earlier this year, but we still had a few classes left when the lockdown came, so we finished it via zoom. We clicked so well as a group since day one that we had decided to continue our group after the class ended. We knew it wasn’t going to be the same as in person, but we took a chance, and we’ve been meeting every two weeks for six months so far, and it’s something I look forward to every time. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this episode and you found value on it please let me know, I’m always happy to hear it helped. Subscribe & Follow! Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts! And, if you haven’t done so already, follow Immigrants of Toronto on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on social media, I reply to every message I receive. If this podcast has helped you in any way, I really want to hear about it! You can go to the website and click on Send Voicemail and leave a sweet message that I will most certainly feature on an episode. Honestly, every time I hear that what I’m doing is helping, it makes all the effort worthy. Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form to schedule your interview. Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.
33 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep #36: Don’t look for a job, look for a career
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Brian Golod. He’s originally from Argentina and moved to Prince Edward Island after one of the worst financial crisis in his country. Then, after five years, he moved to Toronto to pursue his career. Subscribe to the Podcast If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn. Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and you want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch shortly after receiving your submission. Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena and this is Immigrants of Toronto. About Brian Golod Brian is passionate about life and getting the most out of it. He strives to empower, inspire and unlock other people’s potential no matter where he goes. Brian began his technology journey 23 years ago when he was only 13 years old and chose Computer Science in Argentina’s top technical middle school and high school. Almost 17 years ago Brian moved with his parents and sister to Prince Edward Island, Canada, and five years later to Toronto, where he led software development teams as a Product Owner for large multibillion-dollar clients. Two and a half years ago, Brian became active on LinkedIn and discovered by fluke he could help professionals across the world get back on their feet. He felt so fulfilled he went on a quest to find more and more people to help. Since then, he has helped candidates get interviews with and offers from United Nations, Save the Children, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Estée Lauder, among others. Recently, Brian has partnered with immigration consultants to help people immigrate to Canada safely while saving their time and hard-earned money. Brian has also discovered how to monetize LinkedIn when he had 808 followers and now has over 190,000 and shares his knowledge with others who have services to offer so that they can also generate side income. He also provides consulting to organizations that wish to expand their reach and have a larger presence. Brian’s LinkedIn profile is maxed out in connections and thus he made his profile open so that people can reach out to him via direct message without needing to connect; he welcomes everyone to message him and hopes he can help in any possible way. Learn even more about Brian canadadreamlife.com interviewsniper.com LinkedIn
7 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep #35: Finding a Job as a Newcomer
In this episode, Oscar Cecena talks about how to find a job as a newcomer and why it is so important to do it. Happy Labour Day everyone! What better day to talk about finding a job in Canada than Labour Day, Especially when only nine countries celebrate it in September. And, that is true, 179 countries celebrate it in May. So, as an immigrant, it’s more likely that you celebrate this day in May rather than today. Anyway, let’s get into today’s topic. Finding a job as a newcomer. When you come to Canada as an immigrant you have many advantages. You speak a second language, you are willing to work hard, and you have a proven record of risk-taking, I mean, you just left your home to move to a new country. So, if we have all these skills. Why is it so hard for immigrants to find a career? You know the basics. Every immigration website, video, podcast talk about it. You don’t have Canadian Experience, so you need to start networking. No one has the perfect strategy for you to get a job so, please, don’t fall for any scam that guarantees you to get a job. What works for one may not work for all, so be careful. There are many people that can help you polish your resume or your LinkedIn profile, and that’s a great thing to have. But getting a job, that’s 100% you. They’re not going to go through the interview process for you. Don’t get me wrong. Getting an interview is not easy, so anything that can help you get there is more than welcome. Just be careful if someone tells you that paying them guarantees you a job, that sounds too good to be true. So, as I always say, it certainly is. When I was looking for a job, I did everything I could to make my resume stand out and to polish my LinkedIn profile as much as I could. I networked with strangers and attended networking events. And in the end, the job I got was after applying online without anyone recommending me. So, basically everything I had learned not to do is what got me the job. Of course this was not only one position I applied to. I submitted more than 50 resumes, all tailored to the position and company. And out of those I got 15 interviews. And in two of them I went to the last round. At that time, I was so desperate that I told my wife I was going to accept the first offer I received. And I did, and, fortunately, it ended up being a great company where I’ve spent the last five years of my life. I’m in a comfortable place right now but I don’t forget the stress that is being unemployed. Not having enough money to buy groceries and, just to add a bit more stress to that, knowing that my work permit would expire in a few months and I couldn’t renew it without a job offer. But having a job is not only about the money. It’s about feeling useful, feeling that we belong to the community, how we contribute to the economy. It gives us a sense of self-esteem that not many other things can give us. It makes us feel that we are able to provide for ourselves and our families. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing a loved one hungry and knowing there’s nothing you can do to provide for them. Honestly, you may be okay being hungry for a few days. But, would you let your kids be hungry? I think we all know the answer to that. One thing I’ve seen in the past is that many immigrants don’t feel they’re as valuable to the Canadian job market as someone who was born here could be. And that’s a mistake. As I said before, immigrants have advantages that Canadians don’t have. Honestly, just going through the immigration process is an incredible asset. Moving to a new country is about pursuing a dream, is about facing closed doors and finding a way to open them, it’s about understanding about falling and standing up again. And, honestly, what better asset for any company than a person who doesn’t give up even when all odds are against them? So to wrap up, let me give you one simple tip for the next time you’re looking for a job. Don’t focus on the advice everything is giving to everybody because, guess what, if everyone is applying it, when you do it you won’t stand out. Just focus on the value you bring to the company and why you are the best person for the job. And, if you just arrived and don’t have any Canadian experience, use your immigration experience to show what you’re capable of in and out of a job. And remember that even if you are new to the country, and no one knows who you are or where you studied. Do everything you can to show them who you are. Companies don’t hire resumes. They hire people. And they are actively looking for someone with your skills to perform the job. I hope you enjoyed this episode and if you know someone who will benefit from the content, please send it to them. And point them to Instagram or LinkedIn to follow the show and interact with the community. Subscribe & Follow! Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts! And, if you haven’t done so already, follow Immigrants of Toronto on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on social media, I reply to every message I receive. If this podcast has helped you in any way, I really want to hear about it! You can go to the website and click on Send Voicemail and leave a sweet message that I will most certainly feature on an episode. Honestly, every time I hear that what I’m doing is helping, it makes all the effort worthy. Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form to schedule your interview. Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.
27 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep #34: Enjoying the Experience of Immigration
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Swapna Malekar. She’s originally from India and just received her Canadian Citizenship the day the episode was recorded. Subscribe to the Podcast If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn. Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and you want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch shortly after receiving your submission. Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena and this is Immigrants of Toronto. About Swapna Malekar Swapna is a Product Lead at Royal Bank of Canada, leading fintech innovation and R&D efforts in digital payments, cards and emerging technologies. Prior to this role, she led experiences and products in the financial planning & investments space at RBC. Prior to RBC, Swapna was the Head of Product at a UK-based SaaS Data intelligence company, Klood, that provided insights to enterprise clients through artificial intelligence. This role allowed her to engage in the Toronto startup ecosystem, grow a business from scratch, find a product-market fit and find a niche stronghold in the Canadian market. Before migrating to Canada in 2016, Swapna was based in Singapore, driving eCommerce growth in Asia and Europe for the world’s largest publishing company, Scholastic as their Product Manager. Singapore being a melting cusp of Finance, Technology & Innovation with a burgeoning ex-pat community, Swapna adapted to the cultural nuances required to build sustainable professional relationships in the Asian subcontinent. Swapna started her career with Accenture back in Mumbai, India as a software engineer. She is a technology buff with a passion to create products that have a tangible impact in the world. Learn more about Swapna swapnamalekar.com Twitter LinkedIn Medium
23 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep #32: Starting Life In Toronto in the Startup Community
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Shomik Roy. He moved from Mumbai, India, to Toronto in 2018, and started his life in Canada in the Startup community. He talks about his life coming as a student and how his work in the startup community in Toronto is. Subscribe to the Podcast If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Social Media. Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and you want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch shortly after receiving your submission. Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena and this is Immigrants of Toronto. About Shomik Shomik Roy is a management professional in sales and marketing. He moved to Toronto as a student to get his MBA degree and now works in Toronto’s exciting and dynamic startup community. Along with that, he co-runs Schulich Idea Jam, a monthly event that helps startup founders solve their problems. Shomik stops to pet every dog he meets because he thinks it is very important to do so. He plays the guitar and is always looking for musicians to jam with. Shomik is also a huge Toronto Raptors fan. Learn more about Shomik shomikroy.co Twitter LinkedIn Instagram
10 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep #31: The Podcast First Anniversary
In this episode, Oscar Cecena celebrates the first anniversary Immigrants of Toronto and talks about the lessons learned during the year.
25 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep #30: Finding a New Family Through Volunteering
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Mazen Tannir. He was born in Beirut, raised in Oman, studied in multiple countries, and moved to Toronto 15 years ago.
8 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep #29: Volunteering is Key to Your New Life in Canada
In this episode, Oscar Cecena will discuss a topic that is important for everyone, but especially for newcomers. That topic is Volunteering.
22 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep #28: A year after arriving
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Preeti Chakravarti. She moved from India to Toronto a year ago on the same day as her wedding anniversary, and she'll be sharing her experience and how she feels a year after arriving in Toronto.
8 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep #27: Reinvent Yourself
In this episode, Oscar Cecena will be talking about why it is important to reinvent yourself when you move to a new country.
23 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep #26: It’s Okay Not to Feel Okay
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Lucia Gallegos. A psychotherapist from Mexico, who shares part of her immigration story and, most importantly, her opinion about why it's okay not to feel okay during COVID-19 times.
10 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep #25: A Privileged Life
In this episode, Oscar Cecena shares part of his journey and what does a privileged life means to him, especially as an immigrant.
22 minutes | 8 months ago
COVID-19: Financial Advice to Face the Recession
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Elke Rubach, founder of Rubach Wealth, who gives financial advice to face the recession.
29 minutes | 8 months ago
COVID-19: Arrive Helps Newcomers
In this episode, Oscar Cecena talks to the co-founders of Arrive: Shikha Bhuchar and Tricia Jose, an organization dedicated to helping newcomers in Canada.
20 minutes | 8 months ago
COVID-19: Real Estate During the Pandemic
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Elisa Hajducek, a Real Estate Agent with over a decade of experience, and talk about the changes to the Real Estate market due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
18 minutes | 8 months ago
COVID-19: Changes in the Job Market
In this episode, Oscar Cecena interviews Lorena Perry, a talent acquisition professional, and discusses the changes to the job market related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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