February 17, 2010
Canadian Immigrant Magazine

Miho Takaya

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Chinese born Sam He and Brazilian Cristina Matsumoto, both students at the Pathways to Employment in Canadian Project Management (PECPM) program offered by University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.

Sam He was an information technology project and service manager for five years in his native China before moving to Canada in 2008. Like most immigrants, he had great difficulty in finding a job in his field of experience, and ended up in a survival job.

“I got a labour job at first when I came here. But it was very important that I have a professional job to feed my family,” He recalls his predicament. But thanks to a program that offered at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies, he was able to get back into his old career stream.

Similar is the case of Cristina Matsumoto, Brazilian-born immigrant of Japanese origin who came to Canada an year before He, also with IT and marketing background from her home country.

She joined the program – Pathways to Employment in Canadian Project Management (PECPM) – that facilitates foreign trained professionals gain Canadian work experience and find employment in their profession.

Matsumoto chose to apply for a place in the program funded by both Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration “because if I took regular courses, it would be really expensive.”

Immigrants who are citizens or permanent residents of Canada who have worked in project management in their countries of origin and hold an international degree or diploma are selected through an interview process.

Once in the program, Matsumoto was happier with her choice. “I had a great support from everybody, helping me to find an internship. And it was not only in class but also outside the class, whenever I have doubts,” she says noting, “It’s a support program. Without this course it was really hard to get a foot in a good company,” she explains.

So far, 53 students have successfully completed internships at major companies including Air Canada, Centre of Addiction and Mental Health, Bank of Montreal, McDonald’s, YMCA, and the University of Toronto. Many have also gained employment following the internship, according to the school. For program information, visit learn.utoronto.ca/bps/pathway


Reference: Canadian Immigrant