Telus supports newcomers by Speed Mentoring


“Did I do okay in that job interview?”

All of us can relate to that question. But when you’re an internationally trained professional (ITP) in areas such as sciences, engineering, law, accounting and IT who hasn’t yet built a support network, waiting for feedback that never comes is especially hard.

Interviewers don’t often call you back and tell you, “Next time, please be more succinct in your responses.” Or: “You really needed to tell us more about that time you saved your company a million dollars.”

This is where speed mentoring comes in. It’s an easy and powerful way companies can support newcomer professionals in the span of a just few hours.

TELUS recently gave a masterclass on how it’s done, making available 15 of its corporate and operational leaders for two hours. Staff were matched with CRIEC ITPs for quick, energetic one-on-one sessions. After 20 minutes, everyone switched into new pairings—and then a third time.

In these focused conversations, ITPs receive what they don’t get at home, at actual interviews or even with their own peers over coffee/tea: instant feedback from working professionals. They get a feel for what works in a job interview and what doesn’t.

They learn what resonates with a hiring manager and how that might translate into securing a position.

“It gives you more confidence,” says Kamran Abbasi, a project manager who immigrated to Calgary from Iran in 2016. “You can feel your energy go up. You feel better about talking with people.”

Over the course of three speed mentoring conversations, ITPs can adjust and hone their approach based on the feedback they get.

For company staff who participate, the experience is similarly invigorating. By sharing their insights and career experiences, they help illuminate new possibilities for ITPs.

They also learn a lot themselves. “It really opens their eyes to the struggles that new Canadians face, and what they can do to support them,” says Brenda Desjardins, TELUS director of Customer Solutions Delivery.

This is the sixth time TELUS has hosted an event like this over the past few years – a remarkable sign of dedication and commitment to ensuring ITPs are ready for the workplace! It doesn’t require much time, and the benefits are significant. The impact goes far beyond the few hours that employees and newcomers spend together.

Many thanks to the Champions at TELUS!

To find out how your company can become a CRIEC Champion and support ITPs through efforts such as speed mentoring, contact Bruce Randall at

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