SUSK and UCPBA-Toronto
Co-Host a Networking Event
The Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union (SUSK) and the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association (UCPBA) of Toronto co-hosted the first Networking Event for Students and Recent Graduates on Thursday, November 21, 2013. With the enthusiastic support of Paul Strathdee and his board, the venue was sponsored by St. Vladimir Institute in Toronto. It brought together nearly sixty youth to connect and mingle with about twenty professionals and entrepreneurs. The event began with a reception for attendees and was followed by “speed networking” sessions, where students participated in three 20-minute sessions to speak with professionals and entrepreneurs about their career ambitions, the school-to-workplace transition, as well as other meaningful life experiences.
“I was able to get on a personal level with professionals who I had registered to meet. I took away valuable information and advice, which I will certainly take into consideration when deciding my path to a successful career”, shared Borys Brodziuk, Co-President of the Ukrainian Students’ Club at Ryerson University.
Professional development opportunities, such as this event are crucial, as the Ukrainian Canadian community needs to equip our youth with necessary skills for success in their careers and in community life. “I learned some new skills and tactics that I will be able to use in an upcoming job. I
would attend a future event and recommend it to other students,” said Ola Sawicka, a recent graduate from the University of Guelph, who thought the event was a beneficial experience.
Wasyl Luczkiw, National President of the Ukrainian National Youth Federation (UNYF) agrees: “It is events like these which open many doors and create opportunities for our Ukrainian Canadian youth by providing them with contacts they need to become successful in the future”.
In addition to successfully engaging our youth, the event represented an important collaboration of various community stakeholders. The initiative, first inspired by Dr. George Foty, was realized by various organizations and community leaders working together to enable youth and strengthen the community. Further, one recent graduate walked away from the event with a new employment opportunity, another student was offered a summer internship, a few students received part-time offers, and several others have interviews lined up in the near future.
With Taras Hetmanczuk serving as MC, the opening speaker, George Horhota, encouraged mentors and mentees to connect with one another and build networks within our community. The next step is to build upon this effort, by organizing networking and professional development events for students and recent graduates more regularly and at the national level. Through events that encourage youth to leverage their Ukrainian Canadian heritage, our youth will able to foster a sense of identity as well as cultivate self-development and growth, which are elements they need to become the community leaders of tomorrow.
Daniel Kostruba, a recent graduate and former SUSK National Executive member, also looks optimistically into the future as he is compelled to build long-term relationships with the successful professionals who shared their interesting and inspiring stories of success: “I hope to one day be one of the individuals leading a ‘speed networking’ session”, says Kostruba. “I would like to give back to the Ukrainian Canadian community by connecting with students and mentoring them so they can find the right path to the careers of their dreams”.
We thank the evening’s mentors as well as our sponsors, Ukrainian Credit Union Limited and The New Pathway, for their committed support. A special salute to those on the planning committee who contributed to the realization and success of this event.
For more information, please visit: www.susk.ca or www.ucpba.ca/toronto
Christine Czoli- SUSK President; Olena Kit- SUSK Alumni Director; Taras Hetmanczuk-UCPBA-Toronto President
1 - Student attendees pose during the reception at St. Vladimir Institute
2 - Students and recent graduates participate in “speed networking” sessions led by professionals and entrepreneurs