Project Management Fundamentals
This Glendon Instructor Holds The Keys To A Multi-Million-Dollar Industry
Project management is a multi-million-dollar industry, and its job outlook in Canada is bright. By 2027, companies around the world will require 87 million people working in project management roles. In Canada, the number of roles requiring this skill set will increase by 11 percent.
This growth industry fuels Nadine Leggett’s passion for teaching project management as part of Glendon’s Bridge Training Program for Francophone Internationally-Educated Business Professionals. It’s a program designed to help professionals who are new to Canada acquire the skills and experience they need to thrive in the job market.
“My role is to provide a basic foundation in project management key concepts and terminology,” explains Leggett, a PMP-certified instructor with experience managing projects across multiple countries and several industries.
With the right technical foundation, students can either specialize in project management or apply these skills to their intended career path.
In fact, application of theory is a key priority for Leggett, whose course takes students through the full lifecycle of a project in just four weeks.
This includes defining the project, planning the project, and setting it up for success, working the project plan, monitoring its progress, and responding to issues and changes.
“We take a real potential project example – like planning a real initiative for the university – and plan and design the project as realistically as possible.”
Leggett takes an outcome-based approach to her teaching with project-based learning and classroom assessment techniques. And she takes enormous pride in creating an atmosphere where this can happen.
“I believe in a nurturing and developmental teaching style,” says Leggett. “My goal is to create an environment of learning where students are engaged and motivated to exercise self-direction in learning.”
Legget’s approach allows her to readily nurture Glendon’s learners, even those who are seasoned professionals with a desire for continuous learning”
“Glendon has always been the campus to promote higher education in the French language, and I am a supporter of that mandate. I wish I had gone to Glendon when I was an undergraduate student as there are many benefits from the small campus and community environment.
“The Glendon Bridge Program offers a fantastic opportunity for newcomers to Canada by having a program packed with current and relevant learning experiences and individualized career coaching and mentoring,” continues Leggett. “Plus, there’s the added benefit ofnetworking connections with qualified instructors who are industry professionals and degree-program alumni who are already well-connected.”
Workplace Culture and Success
How Glendon Integrates Newcomer Talent Into The Workplace
Roxana Radulescu understands workplace culture and success. The instructor in Glendon’s Bridge Training Program for Francophone Internationally-Educated Business Professionals spent nearly a decade as the Head of Learning & Development for an international law firm in Europe.
In Canada, she’s worked as a corporate training expert, a mentoring coach, and a soft skills trainer. Today, she brings all these experiences to her students at Glendon.
“Glendon stands out through its programs focused on improving the Canadian economic and social landscape, especially by integrating internationally-educated professionals into the workplace,” says Radulescu.
Training and developing newcomer talent is an area worth the attention. Census data shows that immigrants make much less than workers born in Canada, and reflects challenges like foreign credential recognition, soft skills development, as well as language and cultural barriers. With the right training for how to navigate the professional norms of the Canadian workplace, newcomers with the skills, talent, and drive can thrive.
As the instructor for the Workplace Culture and Success course, Radulescu teaches students the practical techniques needed to present themselves with confidence in professional environments. That includes interviews, office meetings, networking events, and professional introductions.
She describes her sessions as a continuous blend of theory and practice, and she uses diverse teaching and learning formats such as lectures, brainstorming, and practical exercises to deliver information.
Reinforcing learning through different teaching methods is particularly important for helping students improve one of the most vital skills for succeeding in the global workforce: communication skills. Radulescu, who holds a BA in Philology and MA in Knowledge, Information, and Project Management, uses powerful insights and practical exercises to demonstrate the importance of effective communication in the Canadian workplace.
“My teaching style is interactive and practical. I aim to leave students with clear tools in their toolbox that they can use right away,” explains Radulescu. “We work with case studies, role plays, and group and individual assignments.”
For Radulescu, Glendon’s diversity and high levels of cultural competence make the institution school uniquely positioned to help professionals who are new to Canada establish themselves in the workforce. She specifically points to the makeup of the Faculty itself.
“The fact that so many of the instructors in the continuing education course are themselves internationally-educated speaks for itself,” Radulescu says.
“Canada is home to so many different cultures, and the Glendon experience creates and leverages meaningful connections with long-term impact in the community.”
Newcomers Learn How To Advance Their Career with a Global Communication Expert
Shona Welsh understands the complexities of workplace communication, and she’s helping newcomers to Canada master them.
In her Business Communications course, part of Glendon’s Bridge Training Program for Francophone Internationally-Educated Business Professionals, Shona breaks down the critical – but often unspoken – rules of the workplace. As she puts it, people are great at telling you the official rules, but they often miss sharing the unwritten rules, otherwise known as “the way things are”.
“I find that internationally-educated professionals often don’t know what the unwritten rules are,” explains Shona, who has personal experience navigating new professional norms after working in the Middle East. “You put yourself in these situations where you don’t know what you said or did that didn’t align with the norm, but you know you did something.”
Shona aims to teach students how to communicate in the workplace, using common tools and frameworks that they can implement the next day, if needed. She describes her approach as deeply practical, an approach informed by her over 20 years of experience in workplace training, continuing education, and cross-cultural collaboration.
“My focus is entirely on the practical side of things, which in my experience is exactly what students want and need. For example, in my course we cover building a communications plan. My students now have the skills to build a communications plan – to advance a business plan or support an idea – in 15 minutes.”
Her class consists of two to three mini-lectures with up to 20 minutes of each section devoted to specific concepts. She then assigns a group exercise, such as a case study or discussion, where students apply the concept. These activities generate fascinating insights for both Shona and her students.
“The conversations are great, because you can see students making sense of what you’re talking about using their past experience, but putting a Canadian overlay on it,” Shona says. “A student will say, ‘In this situation, I did this. What do you think?’ There’s a lot of sharing that goes on.”
Teaching internationally-educated individuals how to effectively communicate in the workplace empowers newcomers to achieve the earnings and job titles commensurate with their experience. According to Shona, it can take up to a decade to catch up. With this in mind, Shona focuses on helping students identify key cultural differences that hinder their professional success in the Canadian workplace.
“A big one that I find – and it depends on the student’s past experiences – is the ability to disagree with your boss. In many cultures, that’s just not done. Or if it’s done, it’s not done openly or in a meeting,” Shona explains. “So on your performance review your boss may say, ‘You never challenge me or bring up your own ideas’ or they assume you don’t have any initiative, and that’s not what’s going on.”
Through in-class activities, sharing experiences, and networking with fellow students, participants in the program learn Canadian professional norms. And the multilingual and multicultural fabric of the campus facilitates this sharing.
“It’s comfortable on campus, because diversity is valued and you can speak your own language,” Shona explains. “You can walk around the campus and see that. Just sitting in the cafeteria before class, you enjoy it because you hear five or six languages in addition to French and English.”
The Strategic Employee
How Annik Chalifour Transforms Newcomers Into Strategic Employees
For Annik Chalifour, Glendon offers a productive and nurturing environment for newcomers. She points to three key factors that make Glendon stand out: bilingualism, multiculturalism, and experiential learning.
As an instructor in Glendon’s Bridge Training Program for Francophone Internationally-Educated Business Professionals, she teaches The Strategic Employee. The course teaches students about the dimensions, structures, and management tools within the Canadian workplace and how to navigate them successfully as a professional.
Helping students identify similarities between their experience to date and Canadian work structures plays an important role in creating a productive learning experience.
“These are mature students and they have valuable experiences from outside of Canada,” Annik explains. “The challenge for them is ensuring future employers understand that they have the competencies the Canadian workplace needs.”
Which competencies exactly? A good example is the ability to use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure organizational success. In Annik’s experience, many students have worked with these common tools, but don’t realize the value of this skill set. The Strategic Employee helps them compare prior usage of specific tools, like KPIs, to their usage in the Canadian workplace and identify similarities in order to present these competencies effectively in job interviews.
Another great example of a strategic skill is communication. Professional newcomers possess great communication skills. During the course, Annik helps them feel confident about communicating in ways that are appropriate for a Canadian organization. In fact, part of the process is realizing they’re building on existing professional experience and relevant competencies rather than starting from scratch.
“Sometimes, students think that since they’re arriving in a new country, they must acquire and develop a whole new range of competencies,” explains Annik.
She describes the experience as “a training program” which provides newcomers with the practical training they seek to transfer their existing skills within the Canadian context.
“Glendon contributes to enhancing newcomers’ cultural awareness and essential cultural skills to ensure their successful access and integration within the Canadian workplace environment.”
Her classes deliver a mix of theory and in-class activities such as exercises to practice using tools like KPIs, strategic, tactical and cross planning. At the end of the course, she wants her students to walk away with a stronger cultural awareness for how to work and solve problems in multicultural teams in a Canadian workplace.
“Immigration can be a very tough, demanding experience at a personal and professional level. These individuals have extraordinary resilience, and that is being strategic.”
Advance Your Career
How Fabienne Breton Empowers Newcomers to Land Their Dream Job
Fabienne Breton doesn’t want newcomers to find just any job. She wants them to find their dream job.
“I want them to discover their passions and aspirations and what moves their career, so they can become the driver,” says Fabienne.
In 2020, Fabienne will teach Advance Your Career, the final course in Glendon’s Bridge Training Program for Francophone Internationally-Educated Business Professionals. This capstone course is a workshop-style class where students hone the practical skills needed for the final component of the program: their work placement.
Fabienne brings over 25 years of experience in marketing, business, and project management to her courses. She has worked as a director managing cross-functional teams, a strategic account manager, trainer, coach, and consultant, both in Canada and abroad. This work informs her approach to teaching newcomers how to set career goals, package their existing experience and skills, and market themselves to Canadian employers.
“Advance Your Career is about knowing yourself,” Fabienne explains. “Very often, newcomers receive advice from here and there, so I want them to have the ability to empower themselves and get their hands on the wheel.”
Asking and answering challenging questions about personal ambition is a critical component of Fabienne’s course. Not only do newcomers arrive with the desire to get a job as quickly as possible, they also begin their career in Canada with the assumption that they need to pursue a career in their previous area of expertise.
While this is the ideal course of action for many, Fabienne wants students to conduct an honest self-assessment of what they want from their career in Canada without considering limitations.
“A newcomer may have a degree in the sciences. In this course we want to explore questions about your current experience,” Fabienne elaborates. ““Are you happy?” “Do you actually enjoy science?” “What do you like the most about your current field?” “If money were not an object, what would you want to do?””
Fabienne considers this self-assessment a foundational part of launching a newcomer’s career. Even if newcomers don’t change their career path, this exercise helps them identify the “why?” behind their efforts.
“Students develop strong self-confidence, so they can sell themselves as an employee not just during interviews but also during day-to-day interactions whether it’s at a networking event or in an elevator. Students create and practice elevator pitches that are 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 2 minutes long, so they are prepared to pitch themselves in any situation.”
She considers Glendon in particular to be especially conducive to helping students build their self-confidence, pointing to the customized, thoughtful way the institution designs its program.
“Glendon focuses heavily on customizing their approach. The program goes the extra mile to give newcomers the opportunity to advance their careers and their family’s lives in Canada.”
How One-On-One Coaching Sessions With Gabriela Casineanu Accelerate Newcomer Careers
Newcomers face several challenges when they arrive. But they also possess an impressive amount of determination to kickstart their careers in Canada.
“I am pleasantly surprised by the students enrolled in this program and their determination to build meaningful careers,” says Gabriela Casineanu. “They’re open-minded, fast learners, and eager to implement the lessons they learn.”
Gabriela helps newcomers focus their determination on specific career objectives. She works as a professional coach in Glendon’s Bridge Training Program for Francophone Internationally-Educated Business Professionals and enhances the customized curriculum by offering one-on-one sessions with students.
“Our one-on-one coaching sessions bring more clarity about the career paths that interest newcomers,” Gabriela explains. “We identify their individual long-, medium-, and short-term goals. When students start by identifying their long-term career goal – something that really resonates with them – they become more assertive and motivated to overcome challenges.”
Gabriela has over a decade of experience providing coaching and employment counselling, especially for internationally-educated professionals. Before embarking on her coaching career, she earned an M.Sc. in Electronics Engineering and an MBA. She’s also the award-winning and bestselling author of several coaching and career development books including Introverts: Leverage Your Strengths for an Effective Job Search.
Her customized approach to career development considers a student’s specific situation as well as their personality, needs, and goals to better prepare them for the Canadian workforce and accelerate their career progression. These one-on-one sessions build upon the course content and experiential learning students receive.
“The individual coaching sessions are highly customized. They’re very different from one student to another because they have different personalities, priorities, challenges, and goals.”
Through coaching questions, experiential exercises, and her proven strategies to navigate the Canadian professional environment, Gabriela helps students view their situation from different perspectives and become more resilient.
Ultimately, she wants newcomers to walk away from her sessions with five important skills: strategic thinking, assertiveness, openness, curiosity, and self-awareness.
“There are many ways for newcomers to reach their goals, some they may not even know yet,” says Gabriela. “I want students to be open to finding what works best for them.”