York U fetes grads of Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Professionals

group photograph of graduates of a program for internationally educated professionals

Graduates of the Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Professionals gather on the Tribute Communities Recital Hall stage for a group photograph

More than 200 guests celebrated the success of 40 graduates who had earned a Certificate in Canadian Business or Information Technology for Internationally Educated Professionals program, which is part of the Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Professionals (IEP) in Business, HR and IT at York University, during the annual Celebrate Success 2014 event on Thursday, Feb. 6. The event also recognized the achievements of 40 current students in the program who had successfully managed to gain employment in their field at a equal level to what they had worked at before immigrating to Canada, and with companies in the financial, government and information technology sectors.

Celebrate Success was held at the Tribute Communities Recital Hall on York University’s Keele campus and featured welcoming remarks from Alice Pitt, York U vice-provost academic, and Professor Gary Spraakman, associate dean of student affairs in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University.

Reza Moridi

Richmond Hill MPP Reza Moridi

Ontario’s Minister of Research and Innovation, Richmond Hill MPP Reza Moridi, delivered the event’s keynote address. “As a foreign trained professional myself, I know what it is like to come to a new country eager to put your talent to use,” said Moridi, who is an Iranian born professional engineer, “and as Minister of Research and Innovation, I know how important it is for foreign trained professionals to use their skills, talents and knowledge.”

Two graduates of the program spoke at the event about their experiences in the program.

Sarpay Karakul

Sarpay Karakul

Sarpay Karakul, a graduate of the Certificate Program in Canadian Business, immigrated to Canada in 2010 from Turkey. “Throughout the program my self-confidence significantly increased, and I learned a lot about cutting edge technologies, knowledge and practices in supply chain management and logistics such as SAP, cross-docking, and many inventory management policies. I believe these are the things that make you stand out among others when it comes to employment,” said Karakul, who attributed his success to the communication skills and the Canadian business materials covered in the program. Karakul was recently promoted to a management position in a successful logistics company in Canada.

Ibrahim Tiltay, another successful program graduate from the Management stream, shared his journey through the program and beyond to the creation of his own successful consulting business. He encouraged new students to think out of the box and contribute to further development of the Canadian economy by starting their own businesses. He advised them to utilize their experience and pre-existing networks back home.

The certificate program requires that all international professionals complete three courses in Canadian business culture. The courses orientate newcomers to Canada in current practices and context used in business communications, business law and ethics, and management skills. Bridging Program participants must also complete five courses in one of the following specialized areas: accounting, finance, human resources, information technology, marketing, management, or public policy. Before completion of the program, the internationally educated professionals are invited to take part in professional mentorship, internship, or career coaching services offered by the program.

Ibrahim Tiltay

Ibrahim Tiltay

Housed in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, the bridging program has been operating since 2010. Some 200 successful graduates and students of have obtained meaningful employment in their fields after starting the program.

The success of the program follows a recent announcement made at York University in November 2013 by the provincial and federal governments who broadcast that they would be expanding Ontario Bridge Training Program initiatives. Ontario has committed to invest $63.6 million dollars while Canada will contribute 16.6 million dollars over the next three years. Click here to view the announcement

The program is made possible through funding from the federal and provincial governments, and York University.

Submitted by Tara Fernandez, Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Professionals program liaison coordinator

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