WES Advisor Blog

Trusted Advice for Academic and Professional Success

Spotlight on Success: Imane Sahir—Career Opportunities for a French-Speaking Newcomer in Canada

Thursday January 26, 2017 | by Beth Gallagher

Group of people in a professional meeting

French-speaking newcomers have great potential to utilize their language skills in Canada. Many employers seek bilingual candidates to fill a wide range of roles within their organization and there is often less competition for these roles. By building a strong network within the bilingual community, there are many ways for French-speaking immigrants to succeed in Canada. Our Spotlight on Success this month, Imane Sahir, is proof of this.

Imane Sahir participated in ACCES Employment’s Speed Mentoring® en Français program in 2016. Her experience led to many job opportunities, including her current position as a bilingual account coordinator at International Financial Data Services.

Thank you for speaking with us Imane. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am from Morocco and I moved to Canada in 2015. I had three main careers in Morocco: a procurement manager, manager at a finance company, and quality assurance manager. I have a bachelor’s degree in business and economics, and a master’s degree in logistics management, as well as audit and business control.

Imane Sahir

How did you learn French?

I learned French in Morocco and used it when I studied and worked. I felt that speaking more than one language would benefit my career.

What were your career expectations before leaving for Canada and what did you experience after you arrived?

When I arrived in Canada, I wanted to find work as a procurement specialist. The most challenging part of the job search was finding recruiters who specialized in my area of expertise and employers looking specifically for French-speaking candidates.

How did you start your job search in Canada?

I tried to attend all of the bilingual events, job fairs, and mentoring sessions. I also searched online for bilingual opportunities. I wanted to use my language skills to find a job, but I didn’t have a lot of luck when I first started looking for jobs.

What services and resources did you use to help with your job search?

I enrolled in a bridging program through Collège Boréal and it was through this program that I learned of Speed Mentoring en Français. This was a unique program that provided French-speaking job seekers with the opportunity to meet with employers who wanted French-speaking candidates.

How did Speed Mentoring en Français help you?

I was matched with employers who were actively looking to hire French-speaking individuals. It provided me with the chance to learn from mentors in my field, practice my networking skills, and find job opportunities.

Can you tell me how you went about finding your current job?

I found my current job through an employer I met at a Speed Mentoring en Français event. The employer provided me with information about a position that I was interested in applying to, and after the interview process, I was successful in securing the position.

Was your employer looking specifically for a French-speaking individual?

Yes.

Do you have any advice for French-speaking job seekers in Canada?

ACCES Employment offers a unique opportunity for French-speaking job seekers. Speed Mentoring en Français connects bilingual newcomers with employers who are looking to hire French-speaking candidates. Speed Mentoring en Français events allow newcomers to showcase their language skills and connect with employers who can provide advice on finding jobs that match their skills and experience. This networking opportunity can also lead to future job offers. I highly recommend it!

Beth Gallagher is a Marketing and Communications Specialist at ACCES Employment.