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Nestor Castro

Nestor Castro

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Nestor Castro

IEP alumnus Nestor Castro

Business - Management Stream

Advisor – Systems Team
4S Consulting Services

“Choosing the IEP Bridging Program at YorkU is a wise and strategic decision because you can start growing and building a meaningful personal and professional life.”

After arriving in Canada, I realized that my communication skills and social network ("social capital") were minimal. I needed to find a program that helped me build a network, enhance my communications skills, and provide me with relevant professional skills contextualized to the Canadian labour market.

After a thorough search, I found out about the IEP Bridging Program at YorkU. After being an IEP Student for about a year, the experience was beyond my expectations. The IEP team has been working day and night to make this experience simply the best.

Before enrolling myself in the program, they offered a lot of helpful information (including informative sessions) and guidance, and the best advice before and during this IEP journey, including different alternatives to receive funding for the program.

When you find yourself as a newcomer, starting over a new life, in addition to the required social, personal and professional skills, a supporting hand makes the difference. The IEP team offered that required support and served as a platform to bring that confidence, energy and hope that success is just waiting for you.

Communication skills and your professional network are the two most significant limitations, along with the lack of Canadian experience. Although Canadian work experience is not something that the IEP Program can offer, having the opportunity to be part of the IEP Bridging Program at YorkU certainly opens prospective employers' eyes. It provides a unique platform for building a network efficiently and strengthening your professional skills (hard and soft skills).

If I were to advise future newcomers in Canada, I would tell him/her that finding the right platform and being strategic is crucial. There are many things to consider: understanding the Canadian labour market and Canadian culture; strategically appreciate your strengths and take the right decisions (career management); improving your communications skills; start building your network as soon and as fast as possible and gaining or updating some professional skills and certifications for the Canadian market. 

Choosing the IEP Bridging Program at YorkU is a wise and strategic decision because you get it all in one place. It is the starting point where you can start growing and building a meaningful personal and professional life.  Being part of the IEP Bridging Program at YorkU has been an amazing journey. While being in the program, I got my first job in Canada. I was also promoted to a managerial position in less than a year, which has allowed me to make more meaningful contributions to my company and this beautiful country. I started as "Systems Coordinator – Project Team" in September 2019; just a few months later, I led some company projects and intrinsically became a Systems Lead. Formally, in August 2020, I was promoted to "Advisor – Systems Team," leading significant projects and the whole systems team in the company.

However, for me - it has not been only about what I have achieved but also what I have become. I have gained wonderful friends and colleagues, a growing professional network, a better understanding of the Canadian culture and job market. I have gained more confidence, improved my communication skills, and it has allowed me to "dream more" and "make more"!