How institutions can help international students begin a great career in Canada

It’s no secret that Canada has established itself as a global superpower in the realm of higher education, as institutions continue to set record enrolments year after year and grow Canada’s reputation around the world. Yet while much attention is often given to international recruitment and the student experience, it is equally important for Canada’s institutions to ensure that they’re doing the most they can to support their international students’ post-graduate aspirations. And for a majority of international students, staying and starting a great career in Canada ranks first and foremost.

“Research tells us that a majority of international students want to stay and work in Canada after graduation. In the coming years, the global reputation of Canada’s post-secondary institutions will become more dependent on how well these institutions are preparing international students to meet this goal,” says Sejal Ahir, Director of Operations & Client Experience at Devant, an agency that combines cultural fluency training, immigration legal support, employer connections, and unrivalled labour market data to help international students and graduates forge great careers in Canada. As an international alum of Toronto’s Seneca College, Ahir understands firsthand how with the right guidance, international students can thrive in Canada after graduation.

Canada’s federal and provincial governments have lauded the benefits of immigration for helping to fill skills gaps in the country’s labour market. Talented international students graduating from Canada’s post-secondary institutions have a significant competitive advantage in this respect, since they are able to integrate relatively easily into the Canadian labour market and society as a result of their Canadian education, language skills, global perspective, and cultural understanding.

“Providing tailored career services for international students is really a win-win for both these students and for Canada,” says Devant’s Chief Strategist Denis Gravelle, who has decades of experience working with Canadian institutions such as Seneca College, Fanshawe College, and Humber College in continuing education and career development. “We know from our employer networks that Canadian employers recognize the true value of international students and graduates for their bottom line. Devant's role is to offer targeted and customized supports that address the most common barriers and challenges that these students face to support their onboarding experience, while tapping into their unique strengths and creating the connections and professional networks that international students often lack.”

A Devant Kickstart Your Career in Canada workshop for international students hosted in partnership with Huron University College at Western University

A Devant Kickstart Your Career in Canada workshop for international students hosted in partnership with Huron University College at Western University

“At Devant, our priority is to ensure that international students are getting the maximum benefits out of their post-secondary experience and their institutions’ on-campus programs and services, while providing a tangible value-add,” adds Devant Director, Program Development & Strategic Partnerships, Nicole Pereira, who has extensive experience in the post-secondary sector leading customized training, education, and employment programs for priority groups, as well as corporate training solutions.

“Devant’s offerings have been collaboratively designed with our post-secondary partners to simultaneously complement and enhance on-campus supports, while providing international students with targeted insights, training, and information that they simply can’t get anywhere else. We pride ourselves on rigorous customization designed to advance the priorities of each institution and reflect the academic pursuits and career objectives of the students we serve. This is the unique value Devant brings to the table.”

Angela (Nan) Qin, a Kickstart participant who is enrolled in the Masters of Professional Education (MPEd) Program at Western University.

Angela (Nan) Qin, a Kickstart participant who is enrolled in the Masters of Professional Education (MPEd) Program at Western University.

Working hand-in-hand with post-secondary institutions, Devant has already seen significant progress in the mindsets and confidence of the students the organization has worked with. Through the on-campus Kickstart Your Career in Canada workshop series, Devant has forged significant partnerships with Canadian post-secondary institutions to help international students maximize their academic experience, develop a strong understanding of the Canadian labour market, get a head-start on planning their career launch, and chart a clear pathway to permanent residency.

“It can be a daunting experience for international students coming to Canada, trying to manage daily life, studying, and work all at once and all on our own,” says Angela (Nan) Qin, a Kickstart participant who is enrolled in the Masters of Professional Education (MPEd) Program at Western University. “Oftentimes, we feel overwhelmed and lost. Luckily, Devant coaches put me on the right track and provided amazing labour market information and guidance, which I know will significantly improve my effectiveness in starting my career in Canada. If only I’d known about this resource on day one of my job search!”

To learn more about how Devant can support your international students over the full lifecycle of their Canadian journey, contact Denis Gravelle at denis.gravelle@devant.ca. Or if you would prefer to inquire or discuss opportunities over the phone, call (647) 678-6737. To learn more, you can also visit Devant’s website at www.devant.ca.

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