Business - Human Resources Stream
Human Resources Manager
Aramark Canada Ltd.
When Divya Khare came to Canada she left a burgeoning career behind. With an MBA in hand and experience managing Human Resources for an entire region, she was optimistic about her chances in Canada. She had sourced, recruited, oriented and managed staff for all 6 locations of her previous employer, and expected to find similar opportunities quickly in Canada: “I was in good place, career wise, in India before I left. When I arrived in Canada, I kind of expected the same thing, but didn't get it. I started blindly looking for jobs, just applying. Nothing was working.”
Khare arrived in Canada in the Winter of 2013 and didn't find her first job in HR until January 2016.
It was a difficult time for her. Khare says that she had begun losing her professional confidence. She wasn't getting any responses from her job applications. Once she recognized that she needed to learn more about Canadian HR practices, law and approaches, she began looking for help.
Khare says that when she found the York University IEP Bridging Program she knew it was what she needed: “This IEP Bridging program was much more extensive than other programs I looked at. I didn't want to go with any other program.” She applied and began to rebuild her career in Canada.
The program had a transformative effect on her: “I had lost my confidence before coming into the IEP program. With each course, with each program I started gaining my confidence back. There were so many soft skills that I learned. This was one of the most valuable pieces of being in the program. It gave me confidence. When I saw that I was succeeding, learning, presenting knowledge to an appreciative crowd, when your professor is supportive, it was very encouraging. The whole York University team was very encouraging. I felt like my brain started functioning properly again. I became the professional I had always been. I learned a lot from the program, but getting my confidence back was the primary thing that helped me retool my job search strategy and recognize opportunities in my field in a way that I had not been able to leading up to the program.”
Part of retooling meant becoming strategic in her job search. In fact, her first Canadian HR job came from her own initiative. While she was she was completing her program at York University, she started researching Indian companies that had branch offices in the GTA. “Instead of trying my luck with big companies who don't know my credentials, or my previous education” she reached out to HR managers and networked with connections her husband had in the IT field. Straddling Canada and India, the companies understood and recognized Khare's previous education and experience. One of them, Tech Mahindra, offered her a one-month internship as an HR Coordinator, which quickly turned into a long-term opportunity.
Things started happening in a way Khare had expected when she first arrived. She got more interviews, more interest and opportunities. Using the networking skills she gained in the IEP program, she connected with her classmates and professors. One connection was leaving her job as an HR Assistant. She recommended Khare to her superiors. After two rounds of interviews, Khare was hired and continues to work almost two years later as a Human Resources Manager at Aramark Canada Ltd.
It was Khare's experience, initiative, ingenuity and persistence that got her to where she is today. She credits the IEP Program with getting her back on track: “I think people who have lost their confidence should attend a team-based program like the IEP program to get it back. There is career coaching and mentoring. They connected me with a great mentor. There was a whole foundation curriculum program, with business communication, understanding business culture, management, and legal framework courses.”
She puts everything she learned into practice in her work today. At Aramark and in her team Khare's international experience is valued and considered an asset. In a diverse workforce, she says, being able to bring a new lens to issues, crafted from experiences in different cultures and approaches is a plus. These diverse perspectives are where newcomers bring value.
For fellow newcomers who might be struggling as she was, Khare tells them to always have a strategy. Pay attention to the soft skills the IEP Bridging Program can teach you, but don't lose the experiences and perspectives that make you unique. The right employer will see all you have to offer and value what you can bring to them.
Divya is one of hundreds of students who participate in York’s IEP Bridging Programs for HR, IT and Business professionals. This program offers a ready pool of talent and staff eager to help employers connect and advertise opportunities at no-cost to them. To find out more about how the program can help you promote your brand contact firstname.lastname@example.org