Folake Okusanya is the Team Lead of the RBC Meeting Place initiative. She has also supported many Newcomers under the ERIEC Connector Program. She enjoys the fulfillment that comes from making a difference by providing insights and suggestions to internationally educated professionals.
The following is a brief interview summary with her.
How has your experience been as a Connector?
Being a ‘Connector’ has been a truly rewarding experience. As a connector, I get to meet new people, share knowledge and learn from each of them. This broadens my horizon. The Connector Program brings to me the constant awareness that there is a wealth of experience, potential and a diversity of talents out there that need to be tapped into by employers. The Connector Program provides the unique opportunity to be the go-to person to help talents achieve their true potentials through mentoring. Learning and re-learning is one of those constant things that comes with being a Connector, because no two persons are handled in the same way and their career needs will always be unique, just as each individual is unique!
What suggestions do you want to share with new immigrants regarding networking?
Remember that your ‘network’ is your ‘net worth’. You will need to leverage your network to achieve your career goals. You never know ‘who’ within your network will be that ‘key link’ to help you achieve your next career goal. So, keep expanding your network strategically. One way to leverage and expand your network is through mentoring. Mentoring helps you to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ and learn from those who have already walked the same path. Why reinvent the wheel when you can simply follow the path already created? So remember, stand on the shoulders of giants so that you can see further! Strategically add those giants to your network and leverage them.
What motivated you to volunteer as a Connector?
There is no better sense of satisfaction that what I gain from knowing that someone has received career direction and career accomplishment as a result of our mentorship arrangement. It is even more satisfying when it is a newcomer to Canada who gains insights to achieve full career integration. Seeing my connectees successfully achieving their career goals is very fulfilling!