Launch A Career in Canada: for International Students, Event of UBC, March 6, 2014 | UBC國際學生活動—— 如何在加拿大開啟職業生涯之旅

At Vancouver Public Library Conference Centre
By Boshan Wang (DAP, Sauder School of Business)

日期: 2014年3月6日
地點:溫哥華圖書館會議中心
作者:王伯珊 (DAP,尚德商學院)

Launch a Career in Canada is an annual event that features a keynote presentation and interactive discussions with a variety of speakers, panelists, employers, and international alumni representing many different sectors including, but not limited to: engineering, mining, arts and entertainment, biotechnology, marketing and communications, information technology, finance and accounting. There are three rounds of interactive roundtable discussion (kind of like speed dating) that allow participants to ask questions of the mentor, followed by a networking session with the mentors, employers and international alumni.  

As one of the participants, I was encouraged by the inspiring speeches and practical discussions.

In the welcome remarks, Cara Dong, the Master of Ceremonies and last year Co-Chair of the event, showed us perfectly how an international student effectively gets involved in Canadian culture. According to Dong, being open to communicate with locals and making an effort to find a mentor to work with plays an important role in personal development and cultural adaption. During her welcome remarks, I learned the proper manners for “career mingling” for Western work environments.

Luis Guerra, the keynote presenter, indicated some common issues international students have been going through. Thanks to his presentation, I have realized that if we give up pushing ourselves to reduce the dependence on our comfort zone-similar cultural communities, it is impossible for us to benefit from Canada’s educational resources, accept new concepts and enrich our horizons of the diverse world.

During interactive roundtable discussion, Darren Frew, the Director of Planning and Communication for BC Bioenergy Network, shared with us his own volunteer experiences, that have led him to the area of bioenergy. In addition, he told us to quit our jobs without hesitation if we do not “fit in”, which were very practical for us.

I was also inspired by Alden Habacon, the former Manager of Diversity Initiatives for CBC Television, who is now driving the development of the Intercultural Understanding Strategy for UBC. According to Habacon, the more that different cultural groups are able to understand each other, the more united UBC will be, and the more every sub-group of different communities will benefit from the whole community.

In the closing remarks, John Horn, the manager for Learning Strategy at Vancity Credit Union, who also chairs the Marketing, Communications & Web Services Committee for Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling’s (CERIC’s), highlighted three things to develop networks: asking for help, “understanding instead of being understood”, and practicing perfectly. These three tips reflect the blind spots of my old attitude to networking since they are more like building trusting relationships.

Definitely, this normal Vancouver rainy night has opened a special window for some international students like me. I feel very thankful for all the staff’s effort and time and their encouragement to be in touch with them without hesitation. I am looking forward to seeing how all the captivating advice and suggestions will change my life, if I take actions. As Mother Teresa said, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

一年一度的“在加拿大開啟職業生涯之旅”由一個主題演講和交叉討論(包含各行各業的指導者和國際畢業生)組成。三輪不同的圓桌討論(有點像快速約會,哈哈)使國際留學生可以像向指導者們咨詢自己在個人職業生涯中的一些困惑;以此同時,為自己在這個陌生的國度裏发展一些人際關系。

作為參加者中的一員,我從這些實用的演講和討論中受到了極大的鼓舞。

在開幕致辭中,Cara Dong,去年的合作主席和今年的活動主持人,向我們完美地展示了一個留學生如何有效地融入西方文化生活。根據Dong的致辭,用開放的心態與當地人交流以及努力地創造機會與一位合適的指導人共事對個人在加拿大的發展和文化適應具有重要的意義。從她的開幕致辭中我學習了如何在西方文化的工作環境里用恰當的方式進行商業社交。

Luis Guerra, 活動主題演講人,指出了一些國際學生正在經歷的共同難題。他的演講,讓我意識到:作為國際留學生,如果放棄強迫自己減少對自己熟悉文化生活環境的依賴,就不可能從加拿大的教育資源中獲益、接受新的觀念和擴寬視野。

在圓桌交叉討論的過程中,Darren Frew(BC省生物能源社交网络计划和交流的主管),跟我們分享了促成他進入生態能源領域的自願者經歷。另外,他還給我們提供了一些實用的工作心得:如果覺得現在的工作與自己格格不入,一定要毫不猶豫的辭掉。

在與Alden Habacon(前CBC 電臺的創意反饋經理,現在努力地在驅動UBC不同文化群體間的相互理解)的交談中,我深受感動。據他所說,如果不同文化群體之間能更好的相互理解,UBC就會更團結,那麽每個小團體就能從這個大團體中獲得更多的益處。

在最後的閉幕致辭中,John Horn(Learning Strategy at Vancity Credit Union的經理、Marketing,Communicatins & Web Services Committee for CERIC’s的主管人)強調了三件發展關系網的“重要的小事”:請求幫助、“理解而不是被理解”以及完美地實踐。這三點建議反襯出了過去我對社交關系理解的一些盲點,因為它聽起來似乎更像建立彼此信任的關系。

毫無疑問,這個普通的溫哥華雨夜為像我一樣的國際留學生打開了一扇具有特俗意義的窗。我非常感謝為這一切花了不少心思和時間的全體工作人員,以及他們溫暖人心的鼓勵。我迫切地想知道如果我將這些吸引人的建議付諸行動時,我的人生將會發生什麽樣的變化。正如Mother Teresa所說:“昨日已逝。明日未達。今日在握。始於當下。”

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