We live in the era of globalization and the distance between countries has reduced considerably. Migrating to a foreign nation in order to pursue higher education or a profession is no longer a distant dream However, given the complexities of the process, migrating to another nation and finding the right job is still an uphill battle for many. Acting as an ally to such students and professionals looking to build a career in Canada is Isempower, Canada's first ever career ecosystem dedicated to international students. The startup offers free personalized resources to students in their inbox every week, an exclusive network of mentors and hiring managers, an exclusive job board, a Career Launcher Bootcamp and lifelong support system to not just land a job in Canada but to launch their dream careers in Canada.
Leading the organization is Ramneet Brar, a founding team member & Chief Growth Officer (CGO), at Isempower. Coming with five years of experience, working as a Consultant in US & Canada cross-border personal tax for High Net worth clients, Ramneet is also a speaker who has given keynotes at numerous events and podcasts sharing her journey in Canada as an international student. Presently, as the CGO, at Isempower she acts as a liaison between marketing, partnership outreach, sales, product development & finance ensuring the enterprise grows as a new business and serves its mission of helping international students.
The Women Entrepreneur team interviews Ramneet, where she talks about Isempower and her exceptional career journey. Please read through the excerpts:
Give us a brief overview of Isempower. What is the underlying philosophy that guides the firm?
Isempower, a career ecosystem for international students is on a mission not just to help international students land a job in Canada but to launch their dream careers successfully. All of us in the founding team of Isempower have been international students at one point in our lives. We understand the pain points, and empathize with the students because we have went through the journey ourselves.
Our philosophy is to help international students harness their potential by providing them the right strategy. We do it by building an ecosystem of tailored resources, bringing together current & the former international students, mentees, industry experts, recruiters, hiring managers, and employers on one single platform. In addition to the career ecosystem, we also provide a Career Launcher Bootcamp. It is an end-to-end solution for launching a successful career in Canada and also offers a lifelong support system for the students. It is taught by recruiters and hiring managers to help the students learn job search strategies from a hiring manager's point of view.
We also host regular webinars and workshops with industry leaders to bring in the best people to render advice to international students. We also have a community platform of over 1000+ members, where people can have a conversation with one another, find mentors, bounce off their ideas, and do everything that they need to do. As I said before, it is a lifelong support system to help international students every step of their journey and not settle for less.
Take us through your educational journey and prior industry experience? How does your prior experience help you with your current role at Isempower?
My journey in Canada began six years ago, when I was 18 and was just out of school. I have since completed a Business Advanced Diploma with a major in accounting from George Brown College. As a part of the program, I was required to do two co-ops (internships). This is how I began my journey with KPMG (one of the big four accounting firms worldwide) in the tax domain. Starting off my career as a Tax Technician and I am currently working as a Senior Tax Consultant in their Private Client - Cross Border Tax Practice.
Working in a Big 4 taught me how to work well under pressure and be more of a self starter. Working as a consultant helped me build my confidence in having crucial and difficult conversations with stakeholders and that is something that has helped me immensely in building Isempower. I am able to apply my experience in not just building partnerships for Isempower but also to build a community along with it. Additionally, my past experience has also helped me gain ample visibility on social media channels and build a connection with students as well as community partners which helps ISEMPOWER augment its PR collaborations.
“Be a lifelong learner, and never give up post failures, instead get up and try again learning from the mistakes”
In your opinion what are some qualities that you possess that help you become a better business leader?
I come from a humble background, so taking risks in terms of career is not something that was appreciated. We are always encouraged to look for stability and longevity in our lives. However, the very first lesson that I learnt as a business leader was to take risks; in case I failed, I learned from those mistakes and moved ahead. It is also important to be adamant and realistic about your goals.
Leadership is all about supporting your subordinates in being their best selves and bringing out profiting outputs, hence avoid micromanaging everything or else it will curb everyone's creative-self.
What are the various roles and responsibilities that your current role as the CGO at Isempower entail?
As the CGO, I wear many hats at Isempower. I manage our marketing including content creation, Influencer outreach, and content collaborations for all our social media channels. I also handle the PR of the company, and so getting community partnerships, media & podcast features, and event planning/ workshop facilitation is also a part of my role.
Together with our co-founders I also contribute towards product design and development. Building everything from scratch, especially during these uncertain times is difficult, but we have been able to successfully hack that virtual world, penetrating our effective strategy into it.
Learning about marketing, analytics, content creation strategies, keeping up with industry trends, all while doing my full-time job itself has been challenging. But it becomes rewarding once you start witnessing the difference. I can feel the difference we create and helping change the narrative of international students experience in Canada.
How do you keep yourself well aligned with the periodic evolutions occurring in the industry and the tech world?
I've been very fortunate that two of our Co-founders belong from the tech and product development world, and hence they have been a great support to help me keep updated with the trends. But, since COVID-19 happened, I have also tried to keep myself well-aligned with things constantly saying in touch with our competitors and people co-existing in our space in order to be able to grow & succeed together.
Ramneet Brar, Chief Growth Officer, Isempower
Understanding the struggles behind getting to work abroad, she has been empathetically leading the internationals students to get their dreams jobs through Isempower.