Alberto Hiroshi Okawa Filho smiles, close-mouthed in a headshot. He has a dark beard and mustache and wears a gold tie.

Humber College’s International Graduate School (IGS) aims to prepare international students for the Canadian workforce by providing specialized Ontario Graduate Certificates that respond to the needs of employers. 

Global Business Management student Alberto Hiroshi Okawa Filho came to the IGS with an Economics degree and a desire to explore the finance sector. 

“By the time I wrote my capstone, I was interested in financial securities because of what happened in the 2008 financial crisis. Once you start to understand financial instruments, how they’re used, I feel things become clearer and they’re super relevant to economies today,” he said. 

After graduating from his degree program in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, Okawa Filho decided to pursue further studies, rather than search for work in a challenging employment landscape. He looked beyond his native Brazil and set his sights on Humber College. 


The Global Business Management program’s Financial Planning stream stood out to Okawa Filho because of Humber’s focus on employability. 

“The program is very helpful in terms of helping students settle into Canada, but also leaves flexibility to work for global companies that have other branches and move around,” he said. 

Okawa Filho also recognized the opportunity to have a positive impact doing what he enjoys. 

“The program has a work placement which is beneficial for international students, especially. I'll try go get a placement in a bank because that would give me the background required to deal with people’s finances and help them,” he said. 


Okawa Filho was originally going to attend Humber’s Lakeshore campus in the fall of 2020, but because of the pandemic and his visa, he postponed his enrolment until January, the same month as the IGS grand opening. He was invited to apply to change campuses. 

“I did some research and found that it was nicely located in downtown Toronto, where there are plenty of job opportunities that wouldn’t require me to commute,” he said. 

The IGS opened its physical doors this month. This semester, all semester one and some returning IGS students will receive online and in person instruction. Okawa Filho is thrilled to be officially back in school for his program’s in-person work seminar. 

“I’m looking forward to meeting all the friends I’ve already made online during the program!” he said. 

To learn more about Humber’s International Graduate School, visit the IGS website