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CRTP student lands dream job in Mayor's Office

September 19th, 2011

Guido (left) joined Mayor Naheed Nenshi at Bow Valley College's external Vision 2020 event where the Mayor shared Guido's inspirational story with participants in his opening address.

Guido Rodriguez, a former Bow Valley College Corporate Readiness Training Program (CRTP) student from Colombia, has found his dream job in Canada – immersing himself in the world of civic politics with City of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Guido came to Canada with his wife and two children five years ago in search of a safer life for his family.

He brought with him a wealth of political experience from Colombia that includes a Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration, advisor roles for mayors in different towns and municipalities in the region, and a term as mayor of his hometown, Hato Corozal, Casanare.

"He has been an enormous asset for us," said Mayor Nenshi. "He is going to do such a great job for the whole community in his new role."

"I applaud Bow Valley College for the work it does with new Canadians and with focusing on economic integration for newcomers to our community," said Mayor Nenshi.

"The idea of having an educational institution that allows people to follow their dreams and their career goals here at the heart of our community, in the heart of our city, is so very important."

Despite his qualifications, Guido found it difficult to find a job utilizing his skills in Canada until he enrolled in Bow Valley College's (BVC) CRTP Program.

Guido began the program in January 2011 and completed the 10-week, in-class portion of the program and a six-week work placement.

Guido credits his employment facilitator and the job search skills he learned in the program as major factors in landing his unique work placement in the Office of the Mayor.

"The CRTP [program] includes a kind of mentor or coach called an employment facilitator," says Guido. "That person guides the student with their knowledge of the Canadian corporate job market."

After Guido honed his résumé, learned how to produce a portfolio of his previous experience, and improved his interviewing skills, Megan Barton, his employment facilitator, began helping him search for his work placement.

"For the work placement, we (students) suggest employers and they make the contacts. I suggested to my employment facilitator that I would like to work for the City of Calgary."

"She sent an email to the Mayor's Office and, lucky for me, they gave me an opportunity to do my interview. Because of the CRTP's teachings, I felt confident during the interview."

"I would like to thank Megan, Laurel Madro [CRTP Team Lead], Stacey Busse [former CRTP Instructor and Employment Facilitator], and Katalina Bardell [Employment Facilitator] – the whole team is great."

Following his work placement with the City of Calgary, Guido was hired on to a full-time contract in the Office of the Mayor to work on a special project called Cut Red Tape.

Guido's new role with Cut Red Tape, a city planning process and engagement project, began by collecting information and ideas from city employees to improve on and identify new ways of doing things.

"Now we're in the process of picking two or three projects from the employees' ideas in order to streamline, improve, and speed up processes, and also to improve business in the city to make it easy for entrepreneurs to start up business here," says Guido.

"This has been a really good opportunity for me because I'm gaining experience, my network is growing, and I'm learning every day."

After his contract work on Cut Red Tape, Guido hopes to stay on with the City in other capacities to further his career in Canada.

"Guido is an extremely personable, dynamic, and engaging guy. It's not surprising he's been so successful – he follows through with everything he does," says Stacey Busse, Guido's CRTP instructor for the 10-week portion of the program.

Guido has also taken advantage of a mentorship program for foreign-trained professionals offered by the College in partnership with the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC).

He was paired with mentor Sybil Braganza, who also works for the City of Calgary, who was herself at one time a newcomer to Canada.

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Ryan Armstrong, Host employer, Team Lead, Financial Analysis, Enbridge Pipelines Inc.

 "This is to express my support and appreciation for the Corporate Readiness Training Program currently offered by Bow Valley College.   The individual turned out to have an excellent skill set, and was a good fit with the Enbridge…

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