October 16, 2007
Toronto: Mulky-born Alan Rego was presented with the Toronto Star Award for Outstanding Achievement in Immigrant Success. The award function took place last month where Toronto Star Publisher, Jagoda Pike, spoke about Alan’s success in forming a self-help networking group of foreign-trained professionals in Communications, Advertising and Marketing (www.campnetworking.ca) as a way of enhancing their career success in Canada.
Alan and his 10 siblings grew up in Bombay where their parents, Josephine (nee Aranha – Mulky) and Alfred (Falnir), popularly called Jessie and Appie, settled down not long after they were married. With parental encouragement and support, Alan got degrees in Commerce and Law from the University of Bombay. He also went in for diplomas in Business Management and Mass Communications.
His career in Communications with Fortune 500 companies, including Hindustan Lever and DuPont, took him to Bangalore, Chennai and Singapore. But Alan with his wife, Evelyn, and daughters – Karishma and Avni, chose to immigrate to Canada six years ago. “We made the move mainly because our daughters were seeking higher education outside of Asia,” he recalls. He also saw in it a chance to make himself into a top Communications professional in North America.
The going was rough in the first two years and Alan had to toil away in market research and financial services in jobs that were unrelated to his previous occupation and skills. But he did not give up. He knew he was capable of more, and his family stood by him.
Alan joined Procter & Gamble Canada after an internship. Today, as the company’s External Relations Manager, he leads influencer marketing for such products as Tide detergent, Pringles potato chips and Duracell batteries. But he never lost sight of the struggles he faced when he first immigrated to Canada. His role in helping other immigrants succeed has grown.
The group he started in May 2005 meets monthly to share, learn and network. At job search workshops, he encourages immigrants with a simple but powerful message: If I can do it, so can you. He now sits on the founding Board of Directors of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.
Alan and his family hope to visit Mangalore next year. “By then, older daughter would have finished her Bachelor’s in Education, and younger daughter would have finished high school,” he says. Wife, Evelyn, has been with the Ontario Government’s Ministry of Finance for over five years.
Two of Alan’s siblings have also immigrated to Canada. Two others are overseas, in Australia and Luxembourg. The others are spread between Mumbai, Pune and Goa.
This is what Alan have to say to the immigrants to Canada:
Believe in yourself. Do not give up. Tap resources from agencies like ACCES (www.accestrain.com), Seneca College and TRIEC (www.triec.ca). Look for a mentor via www.thementoringpartnership.com. Show your skill through volunteer roles in the community. Folks from the communications and marketing sector can join CAMP free of charge at www.campnetworking.ca.