- Why Hire Immigrants?
- How We Can Help
- News & Events
Making the Right Connections
Hermen Atienza, who immigrated from the Philippines to Halifax in December 2008, is now a successful businessman within the Greater Halifax community. According to him, the transition was made easier because of supportive services like the Greater Halifax Partnership’s Connector Program.
Hermen first came to the Partnership in March 2009 to discuss an alternative business opportunity, but ultimately met with Cindy Dean, Project Coordinator for the Connector Program. After learning about Hermen’s extensive work experience in the Philippines, Cindy put him in touch with Shannon MacDonald, Atlantic Practice Managing Partner at Deloitte. After establishing a connection (relationship) with Shannon, Hermen eventually expanded his network, through her, to encompass close to 100 connections in his new community. And this was only the jumpstart for Hermen’s new career.
“The Connector Program helped me to grow confidence and comfort in the Nova Scotia business environment. After only three months, I knew I was ready to go into business here.” An incredibly experienced worker, Hermen came to Canada with a very vast resume under his belt – a MBA majoring in Finance, a BA majoring in Economics, as well as management, consulting, government, and entrepreneurial experience. The Connector Program and networking organizations in the city helped Hermen to fine-tune his skills and commence a career in his true calling: a management consultancy firm providing business advice.
“I figured out how the business community works, and I knew I could be competitive here. I’m committed to Halifax and Nova Scotia. It’s a great place to live, work, and raise a family.” Hermen quickly learned that a large portion of our workforce functions through relationship-building and connections. This influenced his decision to be heavily involved in networking, with groups such as The Halifax Club, Group Halifax, Business as Usual, and Mingle Halifax. Because of the number of contacts Hermen has made over the past year and a half, he was able to start his own business using the contacts and experience he gained through the Connector Program.
As an established and respected businessman within the community, Hermen is returning the favour and has become a Connector himself. He is currently working to connect an International MBA student to the city. “I anticipate helping further her career and steering her in the right direction.”
By Emily Stephen, Marketing and Communications Co-op Student, Greater Halifax Partnership
The Connector Program is a formalized networking initiative to open doors, borders and opportunities for Newcomers. The program matches a Newcomer with an established professional in Greater Halifax in the same industry in order to develop a working business network. The Connector Program brochure received an honourable mention at the 2010 International Economic Development Council (IEDC).