E3: Strategic volunteering can build network and positively impact your career

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Wave podcast series:
Career journeys in Canada
Reinventing ourselves
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Strategic volunteering can build network and positively impact your career
Synopsis of Episode 3

How a step back can help you move forward professionally, building language skill, job skills and networks

Mara Cesar, Montreal, QC

Mara Cesar, Montreal, QC. Managing entertainment events during the Rio Olympics 2016 piqued Mara’s appetite for international exposure. An adventurer at heart, she gladly joined her husband as his career with Cirque du Soleil took them to Montréal, Québec. She fell in love with the city and its rich history and positioned herself to learn French and invest in volunteer work in order to launch her Cultural Event Management business.

When you start a new life as an immigrant, sometimes it is important to step back and invest in strategic volunteering. It can positively impact your career in the new country, helping build language skills, job skills and networks. Work experience is critical to moving forward in your career in Canada.

Following are some paths that have helped Mara in her career journey in Montreal.

Federation of Canadian-Brazilian Businesses (FCBB)

  • The organization was born in 2009 from the desire of Brazilian and Canadian entrepreneurs to create a bridge between the two economies, helping Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) to identify business opportunities in both countries. Check FCBB volunteer opportunities.

Francization services in Québec

  • If you are working or studying temporarily in Québec, you can register for full-time or part-time French courses offered by the Gouvernement du Québec and benefit from financial assistance. Make sure you meet the conditions of your status. Check the government site for detailed information on Full-Time French Courses for Immigrants

Language conversation clubs

  • Practising your skills in the classroom is important, but it is not like real life. Language Clubs give you chance to practise many different skills, with different people, in a setting that is more like real life. Start searching the web with the sentence “conversation clubs in Montreal” and you will find hundreds of French practice groups, online or presidential. That’s a great starting point for finding a (free) group that fits your needs.

Podcast: Career Journeys in Canada Reinventing Ourselves
This podcast series showcases real-life stories of people who have successfully reinvented themselves through their careers. People who have found new purpose, overcome adversity, followed their passion, and explored new horizons. Read more about this series


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Wave Podcast Series:
Career journeys in Canada. Reinventing ourselves.
A realization of BRZ Group Inc., Canada

  • Directed by: Teresa Botelho
  • Content writing/hosting: Lauri Richardson
  • Pre-production & research: Ana Carolina Botelho
  • Production: Christian Pedersen
  • Vignettes & special effects: Robson DJ Estudio 
  • Second voice: Eric Major
  • Website & Digital Marketing: Creative Team Canada

Wave Podcast Series: Reinventing Ourselves. Career Journeys
Made possible with the support of Ontario Creates

The views expressed in this podcast are the views of the interviewee
and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.