How Our Strategies Lead to Success

We seek to effectively and efficiently connect International Talent (internationally trained professionals) with our Champions (Calgary employers) in strategies we feel confident will lead to successful employment outcomes.

Success is measured according to the needs and objectives of both the Talent and the Champions. For the Talent, it means preparation for securing and retaining meaningful employment in their chosen field. For the Champion, success is often measured against specific organizational goals.

1-on-1 Mentoring

This classic mentoring strategy remains our flagship tool. It is a peer-to-peer occupation-specific mentoring strategy that matches an internationally trained professional with his or her Calgary counterpart.

Mentoring is a two-way conversation where mentor and mentee exchange questions and ideas about cultural matters in the Canadian workplace, explore job search and networking opportunities.

We provide expertise in making sure the mentor-mentee matches are suitable. We host orientation sessions and provide on-going coaching, guidance and support.


  • A 10 year veteran engineer from India with experience in large project construction and who wants to continue that path in Canada was matched with a senior civil engineer at Suncor.
  • A five year veteran finance expert from Brazil with experience in banking who is looking for mergers and acquisitions pathways is matched with a finance expert at KPMG


This approach to career path planning is quickly becoming a favourite strategy of both International Talent and employers. In larger group format ranging from 20 to 100 participants, we combine presentations, workshops, break-out sessions and networking over a half-day or evening. SmartConnections enable participants to envision several career paths that may be open to them based on their education, experience and aspirations.

Using this strategy, we can address the needs of a profession (i.e. law, engineering, accounting, etc.), a sector (i.e. banking, accounting, etc.), or an employer (i.e. Imperial, Deloitte, Accenture etc.).

CRIEC has been invited to speak on this approach across Canada and regularly advises immigrant serving agencies, professional associations and governments on the SmartConnections strategy and how it can work elsewhere.


This proven strategy comes to us by way of our Halifax sister organization and our partnership with Calgary Economic Development. The goal is to connect Talent and Champion – in this case connector and connectee – for one or two coffee meetings to cover very specific topics such as “How do I network with fellow geologists?”; “Is my resume Calgary-friendly?”; or “What opportunities are there in Calgary for a civil law attorney?”. We facilitate and track these connections to ensure success.

The Power of Core Competencies

The ability to both understand and explain core competencies to employers may be perhaps the most powerful tool in any employee’s toolkit. This is especially critical for International Talent. Much like Canadians, International Talent have certain leadership skills, the ability to adapt to different situations, a knack for decision-making and a capacity to communicate ideas and solutions. For International Talent, the issue can be “How do I tell others that I am a servant leader, problem-solver, adaptable and flexible? How do I share my education/training and prior work experiences such that they resonate with a Calgary employer?”

Our Core Competency workshops explore these and other questions and help International Talent arrive at their own answers with hands-on exercises, most often guided by Champions (mentors, corporate Human Resources managers, professional association reps and post-secondary instructors).

101 Learning Series

How many times have others advised you to “Start volunteering” or “You really have to network more” or “Use the Stampede to enhance your professional contacts”? Where to start? Perhaps you did not have to network in your previous work experience and volunteering opportunities were not readily available in your home country.

Knowing what Volunteering, Networking and the Stampede really mean in Calgary is invaluable to any newcomer to our city, whether you are from New Brunswick or Peru. Our 101 Learning Series helps break down these concepts into their essential elements.

Internationally Trained Lawyers Strategy

Wondering about accreditation matters, career path planning or articling opportunities? CRIEC has gained considerable expertise in providing Internationally Trained Lawyers (ITLs) with the information, connections and inspiration required for success.

We have nurtured beneficial relationships with all major actors in the Calgary legal community including lawyers, law firms, the Law Society of Alberta, Calgary Legal Guidance, University of Calgary Law School, Global Lawyers of Canada and agencies that provide legal and related services in the criminal justice system, environmental concerns or human rights matters.

Currently, we are in the midst of a pilot project exploring how to provide for enhanced mentoring and connecting for ITLs and the Calgary legal community. If you are an ITL and pondering accreditation matters, career path planning or articling opportunities, connect with us and let’s see what we can do together.

Customized Employer Workshops

When employers have specialized needs, CRIEC designs and delivers the right customized workshop.

Want to really make Diversity & Inclusion an integral component of your workplace strategy? Looking to hire for hard-to-fill positions? Interested in using mentoring as a form of professional development for your employees? Want your hiring managers to be able to better appreciate International Talent? Seeking a way to connect your employees with International Talent as part of your volunteer or community outreach initiatives?

CRIEC has worked with employers in ensuring their needs are met – at the same time, International Talent benefits from these hands-on and experiential workshops. We have worked with outstanding employer partners like Accenture, City of Calgary, Deloitte, Imperial and Spectra Energy on customized workshops.

Pre-Arrival Strategies

There are significant advantages to arriving in Canada having already learned about your particular job market, accreditation or credential matters, rewritten your resume to Canadian standards and connected with a mentor.

CRIEC has two pre-arrival strategies:

  • Connector – similar to our Connector described above but for those not yet landed in Canada
  • Regular – we are developing a 5-part module on-line program that replicates many of the CRIEC strategies including a 1-on-1 mentoring partnership. This program dovetails with all of our other strategies so that participants can benefit from SmartConnections, Core Competency workshops and the 101Learning Series.

Sharing Emerging & Best Practices

We work closely with our Community Partners to share practices, initiatives and program ideas. These sessions include speaker series, regular bi-monthly conversations and “up-skilling” workshops on topics such as Collaborative Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion from an employer’s perspective and project Management. Champions at these sessions have included former Fire Chief Burrell, Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative Executive Director Derek Cook, Canada Bridges and Chromatic Theatre Director Jenna Rodgers, to name a few.