Immigrant Networks Ambassadors

The Immigrant Networks Ambassadors Program

Meet our ambassadors. Those who truly demonstrate a commitment to succeed in Canada and support their fellow Immigrants.

Anju Kakkar

Why am I so passionate and humbled to be an Ambassador with Immigrant Networks? The answer is simple: Because I have been in the shoes of an “immigrant” and I know what it is like. I and my family have happily settled in Toronto, and this is my way of “paying it forward.”

A little about me–I am a poet and storyteller at heart. I am Managing Editor of Humber Press at the Office of Research & Innovation at Humber College. With a career that spans 25+ years, I possess excellent organizational and people skills built over interaction with multi-cultural peers. The values of purpose, inclusivity and collaboration drive me. Years of experience interacting with key players of different organizations accords me the opportunity to have a holistic view of the situation.

As a certified innovation expert with access to the leading ISO-compliant innovation management methodology by Innovation360 Group, Sweden, and an emerging researcher in the field of social innovation, I assist organizations in aligning their capabilities to pursue their innovative goals. In addition, I am an MBTI licensed practitioner and Values Perspective coach. I also volunteer my time with the Chartered Institute of Marketing Management of Ontario as Advisor to the President.

Above all, I believe in “we grow together”. Immigrant Networks embraces the values that are close to my heart. We are here for you. #ImmigrantsEmpoweringImmigrants

Ayo Owodunni

I am a real estate investor and a Management Consultant (Diversity and Equity). I am also on radio speaking on issues related to immigration and helping new immigrants settle. 

I am passionate about helping new immigrants soar in Canada.  

I am an ambassador because it gives me an opportunity to give back.  Many rolled up their sleeves to help me in my career. It is my turn to do the same. 

Hammad Siddiqui

LinkedIn is an integral part of Job Search Strategy for any immigrant in Canada. However, over 90% immigrants do not understand how LinkedIn should be used for finding opportunities in the job market. As an Ambassador at Immigrant Networks and a Professional LinkedIn Coach, I am delighted to support Canadian Immigrants in making their transition to a new job market swift and successful.

Immigrant Networks is an amazing platform for professionals to connect with opportunities!

Dr. Khristine G. Cariño

Ambassador for Women in STEM 

“Many make the mistake of finding a job alone. Cut the stress, cut the frustration. Realize that it takes a village to better land a job. Make Immigrant Networks your village. Ask for help. Many, like me who were once in your shoes and have been helped, are around to “pay back”. Your success is our success.”

I came to Canada as a postdoctoral research and teaching fellow at the University of British Columbia. Veering from the professorial track when I became a mother, I crossed over from academia to the non-profit sector and found fulfillment providing employment support to immigrant women in tech. As past president of the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST), I have strongly championed for raising the visibility and amplifying the voice of racialized women as part of my advocacy for inclusion, diversity, equity and anti-racism.  

Currently a coach and mentor to Women in STEM exiting academia for careers in industry, I draw on my experience of career reinvention and pivoting from work in clinical health care, university teaching, public health research, not-for-profit board governance and operations, digital communications and events, retail sales, and social entrepreneurship. 

I now call Vancouver (unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam Indian Band, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Squamish Nation, and səlilwətaɬ Tsleil-Waututh Nation) home for over 15 years with my husband, raising three children who are being primed to be global leaders Canada would be proud of. 

Madhur Kishore

I am a Marketing Communications professional who has spent more than 11 years developing integrated marketing campaigns in the e-commerce, media and edutech industries across India and Canada. Having arrived in Canada in 2019, I understand the importance of networking as a means of professional development.

As an ambassador of Immigrant Networks, I intend to help newcomers in Canada find out effective ways of building their professional base, their network and establish themselves in their respective domains.

Meena Kaini

Meena Kaini is rediscovering herself as an immigrant in Canada. Originally from Nepal, Meena has had a long career in journalism and as a communication professional working with the American Embassy in Kathmandu.

Immigrant Network came to me when I was at a low point and lonely. Whether it is through the engaging content I’ve related to on LinkedIn or through the weekly chats with a fellow immigrant, I have met like-minded people and professionals, some of whom have become friends to me. Immigrating and settling in a new country is a challenge, and while our situations can be unique our struggles are similar. This network has helped me stay afloat, persevere, and reinvent – I hope we can help you do the same. 

Prateek Bawa 

Hello All – I am Prateek Bawa, an Ambassador with Immigrant Networks. I work as a Partner Consultant with FreshBooks which is a software company based in Toronto. I come with around 10 years of experience working in business development, account management & partnership roles in various technology companies. I landed in Canada in Sep 2019 and since March 2020 I have been actively volunteering & advocating for newcomers. I currently live in Saskatoon, SK.

I absolutely love Immigrant Networks because it’s a great place to network with not only ambassadors but also other newcomers who all share the same objective – How can we support & help people. This platform has enabled me to connect, learn & give back to the community. As an Ambassador, I envision to continue helping & supporting this community and turning this into a powerhouse where people come together to exchange knowledge & foster collaboration as a family. I can help you with your professional networking through LinkedIn & how to manage stress while going through this journey of job search.

Preeti Somal

Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Gurpreet grew up surrounded by people from diverse cultures, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. Being a people person, her love for striking conversations, exchanging stories, and creating social impact, inspired her to pursue a Masters in International Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham Trent University in the UK, and a Specialization in ‘Business Strategies for a Better World’ from Wharton.

In 2020 (mid-pandemic!), Gurpreet moved to Canada – a decision she calls her best one to date. Currently, she lives in Vancouver, BC., and works at the Canadian Red Cross as their Senior Communications Advisor for British Columbia & Yukon. She’s grateful for the support and wisdom that she continues to receive along her journey from those who came before her and would like to give back by supporting the immigrants who choose to make Canada their new home.

Priyanka Dhal 

I am an Accountant by profession who is also a Career coach for skilled newcomers to Canada by passion. I started my coaching services in 2020 and teach the step by step job search strategies through my online courses and live sessions. My services include teaching how to create a Canadian style resume, interview winning cover letter, building a strong LinkedIn profile, accessing the hidden job market,networking in Canada and interview preparation and I have since then helped tons of newcomers get their first or next job in their own profession.
My students gave me the name of Immigrant’s Voice and I very humbly wear this hat.

Rakhee Gehani

A lot of hard work goes into every successful story! 

I came to Canada as an international student in 2019.  I earned my Master’s degree in Human Resources from the University of Regina, SK, and I’m a Certified Professional Recruiter. I’m also certified in competency mapping, assessment & development, and behavioral interviews.

I have several years of experience in Human Resources, and I am ready to make a difference in the Canadian Human Resources world. Before landing my dream job as an HR Advisor, I worked as a survival job, as a training specialist, and as a recruiter with a smaller firm, but I never gave up. 

In 2022, I became a Community Ambassador at Immigration Network to assist new immigrants in achieving their career goals. I offer mentoring programs to those who are interested in pursuing meaningful careers. Additionally, I can give you insights into what goes on behind the scenes in Canadian HR departments. I enjoy networking and would be glad to help anyone who is motivated and sincere about their career. 

Rishin Chatterjee

Rishin has had an exciting marketing career spanning over 16 years across various industries. He has worked with global companies such as Bacardi (Canada & India) and Lafarge in India, and also helped a Canadian e-commerce start-up grow in scale in a relatively short while in 2018-19. He currently works with Charton Hobbs, a prestigious Canadian beverage alcohol company, as a Regional Marketing Manager.

Why Immigrant Networks and The Ambassador Program:

Because being a recent immigrant I understand the challenges new immigrants can face in their early days in Canada and I want to shorten their learning curves/reduce their hardship incidences, by providing them my experiences in dealing with common and uncommon situations.

Roman Isakov

Immigrating to a new country is starting a new life. It’s like being born again. In your first years of life, you are vulnerable and are in need in maximum support, help and protection. This is where the Immigrant Networks steps in. We, as successful immigrants know the challenges that the newcomers face. We are aware of the common mistakes an immigrant should avoid and of the mindset that will help people to have an easy start in their new home. We, the ambassadors can contribute to the bright future of the families that immigrate with their hearts full of hope. 

Shahzad Gidwani

Immigrant Networks will answer all your what, where, why’s, and how’s.  Our Ambassador Program will help each and everyone to navigate the  what, where, why’s, and how’s!  The Ambassadors are your mentors!

Shreeya Shakya

Moving to Canada during the pandemic posed a bigger challenge for professional networking. I joined Immigrant Networks soon after I started my job search process, and it was one of the best choices I made. Immigrant Networks matched me with professionals from my sector and it provided me valuable information about the job market, ways to approach the job search, and most importantly a lot of encouragement and hope.

I am thrilled to join the Immigrant Networks Ambassador program to share our journeys, learnings, and support newcomers to Canada. We provide our collected experience of starting a new life in Canada to support newcomers navigating the new Canadian life. 

Soumya Sharma

In the sea of LinkedIn, it is very hard to determine how, when and where will it work for you. I understand this as I have lived through that stressful phase. I landed in Canada 15 days before the worldwide lockdowns were imposed due to Covid. As an immigrant, I wish I would have received an appropriate and sincere assistance from a mentor, especially during those unprecedented times. I faced over 270 rejections, survived a survival job and eventually networking helped me secure my first job in Canada. Hence, I was able to make a robust program and having coached multiple individuals towards successfully securing jobs, I am confident that I can make a positive impact in your efforts.

As an ambassador, I can provide you insights on what can you do to succeed in your life at Canada and in return I will continue to extend my network, a perfect win-win situation for all.

Youssef Skalli

I am a human, a smile instigator, a Certified Professional Empowerment Coach and Mental Health Advocate with 20+ years of international corporate experience in finance and Human Resources leadership roles.

 After experience in the 3 continents of Africa, Asia and Europe, I landed in North America to settle in Ottawa – Canada on April 1st 2021, 4 days before the 3rd Stay-at-home order in Ontario.

 As soon as I arrived, I started looking for opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals and fellow immigrants, so I came across immigrant networks. I registered and through the matching process, I started e-meeting with immigrants settled in different parts of the country, exchanging advices and sharing experiences. Since then, it has been a great consistent learning experience both at personal and professional level. Immigrant networks has been one of the pivotal pillars in my settlement journey in Canada.

 Determined to give back to the community and empower as many newcomers as possible, I am honored to be a community ambassador part of a group where we are individually and collectively driven by our passion to contribute to a thriving journey for newcomers.

 Through my coaching practice, my collaboration with an employment service center and  being an ambassador with immigrant networks, I am joining my efforts to those of all ambassadors to remove barriers to employment for immigrants and make sure that immigrants are seen, heard and considered which is in itself our contribution to the social, cultural and economic development, growth and future of Canada, our new country.