One of Humber’s strategic pillars is for graduates to be career-ready citizens with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
This is an important priority for the College and its commitment to international students. Humber works to help international students achieve their career goals before they even walk into a classroom and that support continues well after they graduate.
“We provide services to help our international students to be successful in entering the job market and establishing their future careers in this country or globally,” said Rebecca Fitzgerald, Humber’s associate dean, Global Education and Partnerships. “We know that many are highly motivated to come to study and then stay in Canada, and we want to provide as many different tools and resources as we're able.”
Fitzgerald said Humber’s approach to applied, career-focused learning is reflected in the broad range of supports and opportunities provided for learners to develop and hone their career skills, engage with industry, and successfully launch their career in Canada or abroad. For international students seeking to establish their career in Canada, this includes a recognition of the additional supports that may be needed to navigate the Canadian job market, such as understanding cultural differences in resume writing and interviewing or support to secure the proper authorization to work in Canada.
Humber alumna Katrina Quitevis graduated from the Media Communications program earlier this year after arriving in Canada from the Philippines to study at Humber. Quitevis said that resumes in Canada are often done differently than in her country and that being able to connect with someone with a solid understanding of the Canadian approach was a huge benefit and something she appreciated.
Wide variety of career services offered by Humber
Christina Alcena is the interim associate director, Advising and Career Services with Student Success and Engagement at Humber and noted the college offers a wide variety of career and job supports for international students.
For example, there are the career and student success advisors who provide guidance and support from when students start their program through to graduation. They can help guide a student’s academic and career journey and connect them to on-campus resources and support services such as the CareerConnect – Job Portal for students and recent graduates looking for full-time, part-time, contract, summer, volunteer and on-campus positions.
Quitevis used the CareerConnect portal to find a part-time job while she was a student – working as a Career Support Peer with Advising and Career Services.
Quitevis said one of the biggest pieces of advice she can give to international students is to book an appointment with one of the advisors or career support peers. And don’t hesitate to book additional ones after that if needed.
“They can teach you how to navigate through the resources and help you maximize those resources specifically for your needs,” she said.
They also offer advice on job search strategies, how to prepare for interviews, resume and cover letters as well as offering assistance with LinkedIn profiles.
“I just really appreciate the fact that Humber has all these resources,” said Quitevis. “They’re really helpful for finding your first job to get work experience in Canada, which is very important especially if you're an international student.”
Humber’s Advising and Career Services also offers many workshops in collaboration with the International Centre specifically for international students, such as the Finding Your First Job in Canada workshop as well as the customized workshop for Humber’s International Graduate School called Your Career After Humber. The college’s Evening Career Advancement sessions also have proven to be popular with international students.
There are also panels offered throughout the year that support equity-deserving learners – a group that often overlaps with international students.
For students at Humber’s International Graduate School, there’s the Industry and Community Connector Hub (ICHub). It offers opportunities to develop career skills and prospects through coaching, mentorship, networking and engagement events with industry, including campus recruitment, industry meets and networking events with industry professionals.
Support continues after graduation
Humber’s support continues after students graduate. Alumni can access the college’s career supports for up to two years after graduating.
Quitevis said she’s still using CareerConnect as she searches for a full-time job and said that she recently found a part-time job as a digital marketing assistant at Humber through it. She continues to access Humber’s career advising resources as she navigates the job market and advises both current students and alumni to take advantage of what is offered.
She also added that the college’s professors and program coordinators are valuable resources for students. She found them to be knowledgeable about their industries and they often have a strong network of contacts as well.
“The program coordinator can often assist in ways that can be quite helpful for your career,” she said.
While there are many existing programs and supports, Humber is bolstering its resources that are available to students by partnering with Devant to add a suite of virtual wrap-around supports customized for the international student experience. It provides international students with a new online career development portal that’s designed to help them showcase their skills and experiences in the Canadian job market.
Devant will launch to Humber international students for Career Month this November.
Rod Skinkle is the president and CEO of Academica Group and Devant and said there has been tremendous growth in international students coming to study in this country. With that growth, additional supports for the students are needed, he said.
Devant offers a wide variety of services including industry expert panels, professional webinars, live Q&As, artificial intelligence-driven tools, and virtual hiring expos. With Devant, Humber students will have access to on-demand AI mock interviews that provide feedback, an e-learning hub, a LinkedIn networking tool and a resume and cover letter building tool, which amplifies Humber’s existing advising and career services.
Fitzgerald said Humber is looking forward to the launch of Devant during November’s Career Month and is continuing to deliver a variety of impactful programming and support for international students throughout their Humber journey and beyond.
To access Humber’s career resources, visit the Advising and Career Services website.