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ESSEC Alumni in Canada: “There is a strong demand for French-speaking professionals here”

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Canada is home to about 300 alumni. Patrick Lageron (M10), Head of ESSEC Alumni’s Canada Chapter, tells us more about life in the land of maple syrup and ice hockey – and the services he offers to the community. 

ESSEC Alumni: What is the outline of the ESSEC community in Canada? 

Patrick Lageron: There are around 300 alumni registered to Canada, Montreal or Toronto groups on ESSEC Alumni’s platform. The profiles are very diverse, as is the ESSEC community overall: finance, consulting, banking, law, IT, retail, etc. Majority of them are located in Montreal and Toronto, with very few in other cities such as Vancouver and Ottawa.

EA: What opportunities are there in Canada for our alumni?

P. Lageron: There is a strong demand for French-speaking professionals, especially in Quebec, all the more since immigration happens to be a demographic lever for Canada. 

EA: How does the COVID-19 pandemic impact those opportunities? 

P. Lageron: Each province has its own strategy regarding the pandemic. For example, Quebec uses a colour code to set different set of rules depending on each region. Unfortunately, as we speak (mid-December), numbers are increasing and more restrictions are being enforced. 

EA: What news from the local ESSEC community in this context?

P. Lageron: Overall our alumni have been less impacted than average from a professional standpoint, and we welcomed 3 new members in the last 2 months. Additionally I can observe more help between alumni, for example when sending introduction requests.

EA: What makes it interesting to live in Canada?

P. Lageron: Canada offers a great quality of life by providing a good balance between cost of living, salaries, and social benefits. Personally, I also like their hospitality and the respect they show for each other in day-to-day life. I mean, they wait in line for the bus! 

EA: What advice do you have for our alumni moving in your country?

P. Lageron: It is important to plan your move: organize an exploratory trip, get a work permit, learn the culture… Also, networking is critical in North America, you’ll need to have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, and to connect with multiple people. Unless moving with your company, you might have to start at a lower position. The market is more dynamic, recruiting is faster but letting an employee is also easier.

EA: What is the offer of ESSEC Alumni’s Canada Chapter

P. Lageron: We recently organized a virtual event to collect alumni expectations. We then selected 4 of them and are now in scoping phase before launching. For example, we will interview and publish alumni portrait, organize virtual events, strengthen our social media presence…

Interview by Veary Ngy, International Community Manager at ESSEC Alumni, and Louis Armengaud Wurmser (E10), Content Manager at ESSEC Alumni 

Want to read more? Join ESSEC Alumni for us to be able to bring other quality contents about the community to you.

Image : © AdobeStock

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