During 2017-18, Conestoga’s Career Centre served more than 2,300 clients seeking assistance with career direction, employment supports, training programs and self-employment. Emam Neshat, a 2016 Business Administration - Accounting graduate, was among the clients who found employment through the centre.
Services at Conestoga's Career Centre are complimentary and available to graduates as well as the general public.
Sherri Tryon, manager, Workforce Development & Conestoga Career Centre, reports that 85 per cent of the centre’s clients last year were successful in finding employment or a training pathway to lead to employment opportunities. In Neshat’s case, he was able to use a range of Career Centre services to find training and employment opportunities before and after the completion of his diploma.
Neshat, a father of four, was a small business owner who completed basic accounting tasks for his business before arriving in Canada in 2007. It was his goal to learn professional accounting in Canada, but struggled with English and the challenge of returning to school after being out of a classroom for 25 years.
After moving to Waterloo Region, which he has called home since arriving in Canada, he worked on his English skills for four years before completing an English Language certificate through the college. After this, he enrolled in the Accounting diploma program which he successfully completed.
“As a Conestoga graduate I connected with the Career Centre for help with my job search,” explained Neshat. “After attending workshops and, more recently, an employer panel for internationally trained individuals, I met Jessica -- a new employer liaison. Within weeks she was connecting me with employers. After starting my first accounting assistant job in Canada, I’m excited to have had my contract extended.”
Employer liaison Jessica Atfield said clients like Neshat receive individualized support to assist with their career goals; the Career Centre’s services are complimentary and available to both Conestoga graduates and the public. A broad selection of workshops are offered through the centre that range from understanding labour market information to using LinkedIn and writing resumes and cover letters.
“The one-to-one support and programs available from Conestoga College have changed my life,” said Neshat. “I have more confidence in my job and communication skills. I am happy that I connected with the Career Centre and proud I did not give up on my dream.”
In addition to supporting job seekers, the centre offers employer services to assist organizations with recruitment and training needs. As part of the local network of Employment Ontario Employment Service providers, employment specialists work with individuals, employers and communities to serve the needs of youth, adults and new Canadians. The centre serves more than 2,000 individuals annually and over 200 employers across its service areas.
Career Centre services are available at Conestoga’s Doon, Waterloo and Stratford campuses, with other locations available in Waterloo (285 Weber Street), New Hamburg, Elmira, and Perth and Huron counties.