Connectee Interview with Czarina Francesca Zacarias

ERIEC’s Connector Program is highly effective in connecting newcomers to Canada with professionals in their communities. This program will help newcomers to build their professional network, connect with career opportunities and find success in the chosen field.

Czarina Francesca Zacarias is a newcomer to Canada.

Czarina has management experience with a specialty in the retail industry back in her home country. As a pre-arrival client, she had the opportunity to connect with the Connector Program before she arrived to Canada. After her arrival, she had been scheduled on a Zoom meeting with her Connector, Chantelle Painter. Chantelle, is an experienced Human Resources Recruitment and Engagement Manager, and coincidently has an extensive history of working in the retail industry.

After the meeting Chantelle said, “I feel I could affect positive change by giving insight into the marketplace. As well, I can connect people to support their employment search through relationship building.”

The following is a brief interview summary with Czarina shortly after her experience with the Connector Program:

Q: Can you describe your conversation exchange with your Connector?

“I do appreciate that ERIEC connected me with an amazing Connector, Chantelle, who is also from the retail sector and has a vast experience working in the sector. She is now more focused on human resources - it’s the best of both worlds!

Czarina added, “I learned a lot from my Connector and the meeting with her was very helpful for me in order to continue to pursue my career in Canada. I did not expect that I would be given this type of opportunity. Hopefully I will succeed here so I can give back to others as well.”

Q: Would you recommend the Connector Program to other newcomers? Why?

“I love the Connector Program! As a new immigrant, I don’t know many people aside from my family and co-workers. I am grateful to the program for connecting me with Chantelle, who has done and is still doing wonders for the industry. I believe it would have been hard for me to get connected with someone like her if I am not participated in the program. Given my experience, I strongly recommend that newcomers join the program”.

Q: Can you share some valuable take-aways from the meeting with your Connector?

“Here is some valuable advice that I learned from my meeting. Aside from doing my best work, effective communication with my supervisor to discuss my plans and career goals is extremely important for me in order to explore opportunities and advance in my career journey within the company”.

“As internationally trained professionals, we should be very aware of the importance of our own working experiences. We have many transferable skills to bring to the Canadian workplace!”

“Lastly, we need to pursue a career which aligns with our goals, dreams and values. We should not limit ourselves or put ourselves in a box just because of the external pressures that are out there”.

For more information on the Connector Program, please reach out to April Zhang, Connector Program Coordinator, at [email protected].