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CEO-CIIP Success: In conversation with Rizwan Kalim

By November 28, 2012August 6th, 2019Uncategorized

Three weeks ago, we blogged about our partnership with the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), which has already benefited both internationally qualified professionals joining the Canadian workforce and the employers looking for their skills and global experience.

Last week, Career Edge Organization was proud to be the latest employer benefiting from the CEO-CIIP talent pipeline as we welcomed Career Bridge intern, Rizwan Kalim, to the team. Rizwan has joined the team in a Technical Writer/IT Support role, and brings with him extensive technical writing, business process analysis and IT support experience with some of the world’s leading consulting firms, including BearingPoint/KPMG and Mazars.

We took this opportunity to sit down with Rizwan to learn more about how he found out about the partnership, and how this internship is contributing to launching a successful career in Canada.

Tell me about when you decided to move to Canada, and when you were introduced to CIIP during the immigration process.
“2008 is when I made my first application to move to Canada, but as we all know, it can be a long immigration process.

Later in 2011 when the Government of Canada sent a medical request as part of standard immigration policies, is when CIIP came into the picture.”

How did CIIP introduce you to the Career Bridge program?
“In 2011 as soon as I got my medical request, I was approached by CIIP, because at that point you are nearer to having a visa as a permanent resident of Canada. CIIP includes a two to three hour-long web session, and as part of these sessions they informed us about Career Edge Organization… and other than just introducing us to Career Bridge, a good thing they did was outline the requirements and pre-requisites for these type of programs.”

You attended a virtual pre-screening interview for the Career Bridge program. How does this help newcomers hit the ground running once they get to Canada?
“As soon as I got my credentials assessed by ICAS, I went to the Career Edge website and registered myself and then, yes, I had a virtual interview with Ollie. But I think the great thing about Career Edge and its philosophy is that they try to build a relation as soon as possible. Even when you are in your home country and about to fly, you can have a virtual interview. I think the greatest thing about virtual interviews is that help us a lot with having a face-to-face interaction, getting advice, and general guidance with our first steps.”

How long was the gap between your virtual interview and getting your internship?
“The same day I had my virtual interview I was provided access to the internship postings where I could start applying. I would say the time gap was three to four months. Although there are many counselling agencies and bodies in Canada specifically working for new immigrants, Career Edge builds a one-to-one connection with prospective employees and employers. But having an actual platform for actually applying for the internship and making contact with employers in this way is not available anywhere else. I can get counselling elsewhere, but relationship-building is only through Career Edge.”

How do you see using this internship to further your career in Canada?
“For me, it is a launching pad. This is the perfect opportunity for me to bring forward all my experience, all my qualifications, everything. As newcomers to this country, we always hear about the terms ‘Canadian experience’, Canadian values, and Canadian culture. You can read thousands of books, you can search through thousands of websites learning about Canada and its culture, but the actual onboarding experience cannot be gained or earned through these books, websites, or by attending counselling sessions. So yes, this is definitely a launching pad for me that I can use for my career transition and toward being part of this great country.”