An immigrant from Mexico, his counsel comes across as honest and useful. Moving to Toronto as a fresh MBA graduate from HEC Montreal, Emiliano knows first hand the barriers newcomers face getting established in Canada.
One of the barriers Emiliano faced when he arrived in Toronto was a lack of a well-established professional network. After meeting other MBA graduates from Latin America facing similar challenges, Emiliano decided that strength lay in numbers. Together with his new contacts, he co-founded the Latin American MBA Alumni Network (LAMBA) in 2010, to connect Latin American MBAs with each other and with employers in Canada.
“Individually, our networks from our business schools were limited and being newcomers we did not have family networks to rely on,” says Emiliano. “So we decided to connect our individual networks to form something bigger.”
Led by a committed group of volunteers, LAMBA quickly took off, growing to over 500 members in just three years. Emiliano led the charge to secure sponsors and employer partners for the network. His peers in LAMBA credit him for being a key pillar for the network and he recently took over the role of President.
Emiliano’s work with diversity and immigrant inclusion extends beyond LAMBA. His employer RBC asked him, along with a colleague, to launch the visible minority committee that is part of his RBC unit’s Diversity Leadership Council. As Champion he has helped develop the committee’s mandate and strategic plan, as well as recruiting committee members globally. In addition, Emiliano created an internal website and mailbox to raise awareness about initiatives around visible minorities at RBC.
As his peers at LAMBA attest, all of Emiliano’s spare time is dedicated to supporting new immigrants. He finds time to volunteer outside LAMBA and RBC, including serving as President of the HEC Montreal MBA Alumni Network in Toronto, yet another role where he supports MBA graduates from his business school, many of them immigrants new to Toronto. Emiliano looks for the day when immigrant inclusion is a non-issue in Canada. Until then, he has a vision for LAMBA: for employers to look to LAMBA as a source of great talent from Latin America in Canada.
Emiliano Mendez won the 2013 RBC Immigrant Success Award.
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