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Community, government and private sector team up to support newcomers

18 June 2018
Author: Simi Khosa
On May 26th, 2018 Prosper Canada, TD Bank Group and Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) co-hosted a networking event for newcomers seeking jobs in the financial sector. The event allowed newcomers to hear from leading recruiters about personal branding, learn about trends in the financial industry, and network with senior staff and recruiters.
Over 60 job seekers from TESS’ Employment programs attended along with 11 volunteer networkers from TD and Deloitte. 
Chris Matsika, a Capital Budget Analyst and a former newcomer kicked off the morning’s event with a speech on the power of perseverance. This was followed by a panel discussion featuring panellists, Georgia Ilios, Deloitte; Tushaar Sharma, TD; and Nilamma Chinapen, TD; which was moderated by Lorna Morin, Program Delivery and Integration Officer, Prosper Canada. Lorna asked the panellists a series of questions ranging from, the importance of personal branding, how to use social media to your advantage when job hunting, to how imperative it is to create a network or support system. The event concluded with three rounds of networking conversations between newcomers and the 11 representatives from TD and Deloitte.
At this point the room began bustling enthusiastically! The networking discussions gave newcomers the opportunity to share their personal experiences, swap LinkedIn profile information, and gain tips on how to position transferable skills. Volunteer networkers answered many questions about how to land the right job, including how to approach management staff and recruiters, how to secure informational meetings and job shadowing opportunities. Newcomers were from diverse backgrounds and some had been in Canada for years, while one participant  informed others in his networking group that he had just arrived in Canada five days earlier.
Both newcomers and volunteer networkers had equally positive things to say about the event. 
“It is important to give visible minorities or other marginalized groups, a platform to speak up and be heard.” TD volunteer & former newcomer
“This is valuable because it is about the creation of a community, and sharing the resources and information among each other.” Newcomer 

“Much discussion has been made of artificial intelligence or the prevalence of social media in today’s culture, but nothing beats a good old fashioned face-to-face interaction and networking.”  Newcomer

Prosper Canada values its role as a connector of cross-sectoral partnerships. We believe it strengthens the work we do to financially empower vulnerable populations and people that may experience barriers to financial inclusion, such as newcomers. 
TD Bank Group is co-founder and supporter of the Prosper Canada Centre for Financial Literacy.
TESS provides employment supports, financial benefits and social supports to Toronto residents living on low incomes.  


Simi Khosa is the Marketing and Communications Intern at Prosper Canada. Simi is interested in learning about social justice issues. She has a media studies and women and gender studies degree from the University of Toronto. Simi is pursuing a masters degree in gender studies from Memorial University in September 2018.

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