2017 Smart Connections: We must “Start with Why”

Our second event for this year’s Smart Connections program series themed Networking for Success, hosted by Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC ) in collaboration with NAIT, was held last Thursday, September 28th, 2017 at the NAIT Main Campus here in Edmonton.

Doug Piquette, the Executive Director of ERIEC and the event host challenged all participants to “connect, learn and most importantly apply what you learn!!”

Alison Lewis, Associate Vice President of Campus Life at NAIT, followed and spoke to the importance of networking especially when it comes to integration and inspired the audience by asking them to be brave in any new environment they become a part of.

There were two successful immigrant stories that were shared, one provided by Victor Zhang, a NAIT graduate who is currently working at NAIT. The other was delivered by Adedayo Ojeleye, an ERIEC Career Mentorship Program graduate, who provided his personal journey and shared his valuable tips and strategies to career success.

The event’s Keynote Facilitator, Nadine Riopel  began her session by stating that she believes that relationships and connections are the “secret to success” in almost any endeavor in life.  Her passion and her vision is to help people develop their networks and networking skills vicariously through her speaking, facilitation, and training work. This was quickly made obvious to everyone of over 100, engaged immigrant professionals who participated in her session that evening.


Her workshop began with how to apply the “Start with Why” Method of introducing yourself.

Nadine’s approach and articles that she’s written weaves and expands upon Simon Sinek’s seminal body of work and how it specifically connects to networking. For more on these themes, check out some of Nadines’ links:

Thanks again to all at NAIT for hosting the event, to all of the employers, speakers, community partners, exhibitors and of course all of the participants for their contributions and collaboration in helping to make another great ERIEC event!

Build Your Network

Connect with local business leaders and immigrants with international experience to build a diverse, professional network.