When Tim Tabassum Iqbal immigrated to Canada from Pakistan in 2006, he came with a Master’s degree in Computer Science, extensive experience as a Chief Operating Officer with a large Pakistani company and lots of entrepreneurial skills. Yet that didn’t stop him from facing many of the same challenges other new immigrants come up against – including lack of a professional network and understanding of the job/business market here in Canada.
Finding strategies for success
Tim was committed to doing whatever was necessary to establish himself in his new country and always believed that he was responsible for creating his own success story. He entered into Sheridan’s Career Planning course for newcomers as the first step to understanding the how job market works in Canada. One day, Sheridan’s mentoring coach spoke to his class about The Mentoring Partnership and Tim knew that this was another strategy that could lead to his success. It was a hunch that proved to be right.
“My mentor was able to provide me with very valuable information related to my area of work and the specifics of the job market here,” says Tim. “He also was able to help me build my network in the industry here in Canada.”
Tim was able to leverage what he learned at Sheridan, as a mentee, and through his own hard work, to find success here in Canada. Since first immigrating, he has established two businesses in Canada, including Blue Green Systems, a renewable energy company where he is currently the Executive Director. Tim also consults for a variety of Fortune 500 companies in the area of Business Intelligence and performance improvements and is Vice President/President-Elect 2013 for Rotary Club of Mississauga – City Centre.
But finding his own success is not enough for Tim. He is also committed to giving back and helping others in the community. Nowhere has he been more active than in helping other newcomers build their networks and establish themselves in Canada.
“When I was first establishing myself here in Canada, I wasn’t able to find any networks that were tailored to my needs as an internationally trained professional (ITP) and my instinct told me that I could do something about that,” says Tim. “So I started the Sheridan Internationally Trained Professional Network, with the idea that that would help to connect established ITPs with new ITPs. We hoped to inspire new ITPs by sharing success stories that would build their belief that they too can achieve success if they are determined.”
It was that same instinct to help new immigrants that led Tim full circle. In 2012, 5 years after he was a mentee, Tim joined The Mentoring Partnership as a mentor for a new immigrant himself.
“Newcomers come with such passion for their new country and for finding success,” says Tim. “All they need is some help channelling that passion and I knew that I could help with that.”
“My mentee really inspired me. It’s great to know that I helped to play a role in changing the course of their life.”