Home » Mentor stories » Alex So – Mentor to 10 or more skilled immigrants

“For me accounting is accounting no matter where you study and where you practice. We all follow the same accounting principles. I help my mentees market their relevant professional experience to local employers, build a new network here and explain the path to getting a Canadian designation.”

How my employer makes mentoring easy

The City of Toronto has been a corporate partner of The Mentoring Partnership since the beginning because it’s a meaningful project.  Our Human Resources Division arranges all the activities and informs managers that staff will spend a couple of hours contributing each week for a period of four months. Most divisions participate in the program and my bosses give me the flexibility to mentor during the work day.

Why I started mentoring

My immigrant experience was definitely a factor. I know what it feels like to come to a new country with no friends and no network, but more importantly, I want to help.

One job search tip for internationally trained finance professionals

Hiring managers in this field expect certain behaviours in an interview. Practice through mock interviews. Speak calmly and confidently, but get to the point quickly. Finance professionals expect you to be direct.

On his network of former mentees

I follow up with my mentees and ask them to meet my current one. Hearing success stories that they can relate to helps mentees seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My former mentees are more than happy to share their stories and help a fellow newcomer.

What advice would you give to someone who’s unsure of becoming a mentor?

It’s most advantageous to become a mentor. One should feel very lucky to have a job and help those who are struggling. It also helps to keep things in perspective when you yourself feel down.

Mentee Sam Gu on how Alex made a difference to him

Coming from China with strong accounting experience I expected to find a job quickly. After several months looking online yielded no results, I signed up with ACCES Employment Services where I learned about The Mentoring Partnership. Alex helped me better understand the accounting industry and introduced me to his former mentee.  He reviewed my answers for job interviews, so that I felt confident beforehand. While working with Alex I participated in a speed mentoring event at ACCES with TD Bank Financial Group. The recruiters were impressed with my experience and I soon landed a job as a fund accountant. I appreciate that Alex reinforced how hard I would have to push myself to land the right job.

More on mentor Alex So

  • Senior Financial Analyst, City of Toronto.
  • Mentor to 10 or more skilled immigrants through The Mentoring Partnership.
  • Alex heard about The Mentoring Partnership through City of Toronto
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