2019 Global Talent Conference: Diversify Your Professional Network


The 9th Edmonton Global Talent Conference drew an impressive gathering of 235 inspired internationally educated professionals at the Fantasyland Hotel & Conference Centre on Wednesday, February 27th 2019.

ERIEC’s Executive Director welcomed the audience and presented this year’s theme, Diversify Your Professional Network!

The keynote was Dr. Wanda Costen, who is the Dean of the School of Business at MacEwan University. Her teaching expertise extends to areas including strategy, human resources, organizational behavior, law and diversity. In her session, Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Dr. Wanda highlighted the importance of being intentional in an individual’s networking efforts. She emphasized the value of relationships and how one can leverage these relationships to achieve success. 96.29 % rated her presentation as Excellent or Great!

Tara Dragon, President and Founder of Work Evolution, talked about How to Set Yourself Apart. During her introduction, she had presented pictures and scenarios which concluded that implicit bias is unavoidable in some hiring decisions. After the activity, the participants were given practical information and suggestions on how to set themselves apart despite the challenges of overcoming several barriers.

Stephen Bull, Assistant Deputy Minister of Service Alberta, Government of Alberta, gave the audience real-world Interview Tips and Tricks.

Nadine Riopel, President and Founder of Nadine Riopel Professional Services, together with Frankline Agbor, Executive Producer of Diversity Magazine, led an interactive Q and A session to demonstrate to participants, How to Diversify our Network?

Azumme Degun, ERIEC’s Career Mentorship Program Director and Sarah Tangan, ERIEC’s Connector Program Coordinator, inspired the audience with their immigrant success stories and both provided information about ERIEC’s Mentorship and Networking programs.

Evaluation from the participants in 2019 Global Talent Conference who responded to the survey was the following:

89 % rated the Global Talent Conference 2019 as Excellent or Great.

88.9 % responded that information that they gathered from the event in improving their networking skills was Extremely Helpful or Very Helpful

The following are a few quotes from the Conference participants who responded to our post-conference survey:

What was the most valuable thing you learned today?

“That networking is the most important thing for future progress”

“A lot of good things, for example: I am not alone, other people are facing the same obstacles but there’s hope to succeed. Also, perseverance is key!…You have to keep trying!!”

“Searching for hubs where you can meet professionals in your field. Getting out of your comfort zones and attending events to build your network”

“I loved listening to Wanda, she is a powerful speaker with an excellent message.”

On behalf of ERIEC we would like to send our gratitude to this year’s principal sponsor, BMO Bank of Montreal. Colin Lechelt and Michael Shepansky, Regional Vice-Presidents graced the event and networked with the internationally trained professionals.

Special thanks to all the community partners and exhibitors who showcased their services at this year’s Conference Marketplace.

We would like to complete this blog with the following message form one of the participants:

“It’s encouraging and helpful to know that as newcomers we aren’t alone, there are resources we can tap into to improve our quest for gainful employment. Thank you for all that you are doing, we appreciate it.”

Global Talent Conference

Join us at a premium event for newcomers who are looking to connect with and be inspired by leaders from the Edmonton business community.