York U to celebrate foreign-trained bridging program graduates

A graduating class of IEP students

Hungary native Reka Tokes was sure to pack all her professional education and work experience certificates in her suitcase when moving to Canada with her husband and young daughter in 2012. However, she was also mindful that, lacking Canadian experience, it could take a very long time to get employed in her field if she relied only on those certificates and her career back home.

But thanks to her efforts, including participation in York University’s Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs), the master’s degree holder in human resources and adult education got hired as a learning consultant for the Ministry of Government Services within two years.

IEP students
IEP students

Tokes will be sharing her experiences as an IEP at York University’s Celebrate Success event on Nov. 13 at 7pm in the Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre, Accolade East Building, where she and 40 other program graduates will receive their certificates.

“The bridging program did exactly what its name says. It helped me to see my background from the Canadian perspective, customize my resume to better fit the requirements…. It helped me build a bridge between my past and my future,” says Tokes.

The current graduating class includes professionals from around the world whose specialties are in the areas of human resources, information technology, management, marketing, public policy, accounting and finance.

IEP students learn valuable skills
IEP students learn to break the barriers to employment in Ontario

“People like Reka bring with them incredible skills, abilities and a desire to be successful, and it’s highly rewarding to help them with filling in gaps, getting professional designations and in building networks to be better prepared for finding fulfilling careers in Ontario,” says Program Manager Nora Priestly.

The keynote address will be offered by Meleni David, also an internationally trained professional who is a successful lawyer and alumna of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

Funded by the provincial and federal governments, the program at York U has assisted IEPs from more than 35 countries to break the barriers to employment in Ontario and land positions that best match their foreign education, credentials and work experience.

“The program helped me to see my background from the Canadian perspective and provided me information about networking opportunities and career options that are relevant to my previous experiences,” says Tokes.