YMCA Mentoring Program for Immigrants
Networking is considered one of the important parts of someone’s career success. When you start a new life in a country where you don’t know anyone, go out and explore. Talk to people, or join a group of your interest.
In Canada, you can find many programs that support newcomers in starting their new life. From improving your English or French, social network, employment support, and many more. One of the specific support available for newcomers is Mentoring Program.
Depending on your profession or your previous work experience, you may be able to find a mentor to guide you in understanding and navigating the Canadian job market.
The YMCA Newcomer Information Centre Mentoring Program for Immigrants consists of the following:
- A 4-week mentoring program focusing on job search, resume customization, networking, and interview preparations
- A 2-4 hour classroom session every Monday from 4 pm – 6 pm
- Learn about, develop and practice your elevator speech
- Additional support outside of the sessions, either by email or phone. Such as making contacts, networking, interview tips, salary negotiation, and more
This program is developed by mentors who are retired business professionals with broad backgrounds ranging from finance and marketing to entrepreneurship and international business. They will provide you with suggestions, reference materials, and practical guidance.
To join the YMCA’s mentoring program, you must:
- Be a Permanent Residents, Convention Refugees, or Protected Persons
- Be a professional immigrant with a high level of English proficiency (CLB 8)
- Bring your Canadian-style resume and a job description for your target role
- Be committed to attending the sessions and preparing relevant materials asked by the mentor
- Be a member of the YMCA Newcomer Information Centre
Program intake is performed by the YMCA Newcomer Information Centre referral specialists who screen participants for:
1. Language capability
2. Preparation – registration with Employment Ontario agency and ideally completion of basic workshops in resume writing, networking, interviews, etc.
3. Availability to attend sessions and commitment to prepare relevant material and practice for sessions
The program runs for four consecutive Mondays from 4:00 to 6:00. Participants are encouraged to submit materials for review to the facilitators between sessions and are welcome to stay in contact with the facilitators through in-person sessions and email or telephone as their job searches develop.
The participants are asked to bring their resumes and a job description for their target role to the first session and a scripted “elevator speech” no later than the second session.
The program works as a supplement to Employment Ontario agencies. It also arranges, where possible, information interviews with both individuals in their field of endeavor and ‘graduates’ of the program who are now working.
The program consists of an open, interactive format that is tailored to meet the specific needs of each group of participants. The participants are encouraged to work with each other and assist each other by forming – often – their first network. As cohorts generally include between 4 and 8 participants, with 3 mentors, there is considerable opportunity for individual coaching during and between the sessions.
Although the program is interactive and responsive to the levels and needs of the participants, the agendas usually follow a typical progression. The initial session starts with the participant’s background, job goals, and current status. This often links to the “elevator speech” and a recurring theme: how to present their potential contribution to prospective employers clearly and confidently. Subsequently, we review participant resumes and introduce networking skills, often employing role plays and practice. As participants proceed in their job search, the final session often is focused on mock behavioral interview questions.
Take a look at what our program graduate said about our mentoring program here.
To learn more and participate in this program, please register with us!
Have you registered with us? Please contact your Information & Referral Specialist to take part in this mentoring program.