“You learn with every new person you meet.” Supporting Students’ Navigation of Difference in the Intercultural Mentorship Program

December 12, 2017 • Written by

The role that post-secondary education plays in student success goes beyond transmitting academic knowledge and skills. Contribution to the community, effective communication across difference, leadership through mentorship are skills and qualities that are practiced beyond the classroom and are critical for workplace success. With increasingly diverse workplaces, we need to provide students with opportunities for interaction across boundaries of difference, leading to multiple benefits. Although the most common formats for enhancing college students’ competence with diversity and intercultural skills are multicultural classes and diversity workshops, research suggests that engagement with diverse peers in the informal campus environment is the key to positive diversity outcomes, including interpersonal and academic validation, social identity awareness (salience), multicultural competencies and a host of civic outcomes. [1]

Here comes the Intercultural Mentorship Program. A one-on-one partnership between a Local student and a Global Student, the IMP offers students opportunities to communicate across cultures, to reflect on their cultural identities and share their ideas and beliefs in a way that enhances the intercultural experience at Red River College and creates positive interactions on campus and in the community.

Melanie is a Canadian-raised Library and Information Technology student at Red River College. She has been wanting to volunteer in an exchange-type of program for a long time so when she heard about the IMP at Red River College, she immediately signed up. She was excited to learn about others and sharing about herself, making connections and creating new and positive experiences for others. Melanie’s mentor partner, Bich is an international student from Vietnam who is taking Business Administration at Red River College. Like many international students, Bich was excited to make new friends in the new environment (she came to Canada in August 2017!) and socialize outside the classroom.

Melanie and Bich first met at the Orientation session where they introduced each other, discussed goals for their partnership and planned some fun activities together. In the 8 weeks they spent as mentor partners, Melanie and Bich met for lunch and tried out various global cuisines (including Melanie’s first Pho and Bich’s first pancakes!), they met each other’s friends, celebrated Thanksgiving and Remembrance day, enjoyed a concert at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra together (the Program provides free tickets to exciting events in the community!) and explored FortWhyte and other Winnipeg staple destinations that helped them bond and have interesting conversations.

“I learned especially about how life works in the home, roles of family members, how individuals are viewed and what is expected” shares Melanie while Bich is especially grateful for learning more about Canada and having a friend to experience winter with: “Our discussion on family really made me think of the difference in expectations and importance from mine to hers. New physical experiences through colder temperatures and snow was a fun one.”

The Intercultural Mentorship Program encourages students to share their experiences and engage in meaningful conversations in a positive and nurturing environment. In fact, when we connect with others from groups we are less familiar with and we diversify the stories we encounter, we can better connect with the humanity of people who may look or sound different to us. Studies show that being exposed to counter-stereotypical images and stories from people from other groups leads to less implicit bias and increased opportunity for positive contact[2]. And the best way to achieve this is by offering students a platform where they can engage across differences.

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor partner in the Intercultural Mentorship Program, registration for Term 2 is now open! Please visit www.rrc.ca/imp to find out more!

“This program goes beyond the experience of seeing wonderful places and events here in Winnipeg. It is a great way to establish a new form of friendship where you can express your thoughts, ideas and cultural differences in more collective and participative interactions.” Local Mentor

“This program helped me understand that differences in culture is not a hindrance for people to unite but it is a way to open our mind of new ideas and innovations.” Global Mentor

“Thanks to IMP, I communicated more with people, had more memorable experiences, made new friends, gain more insights into other cultures. And, what I like the most is that it made me feel more connected with the college, and with everyone.” Local Mentor

[1] https://www.heri.ucla.edu/ford/DiverseLearningEnvironments.pdf

[2] https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_build_relationships_across_difference

2018 Directions Conference: Register now for a chance to win!

December 7, 2017 • Written by

The Directions Conference connects Red River College students in Business and Applied Arts with industry professionals in many areas of business. Keynote speakers, breakout informational sessions and the popular roundtable networking event combine into a rich and rewarding experience for both students and employers.

In addition to the winning learning experience from the conference keynote speaker, Josh Simair, CEO & Co-founder at SkipTheDishes.com, we have 5 Early Bird prizes up for grabs! The earlier you register for the 2018 Directions Conference, the greater your chance to win one or more of the awesome Early Bird prizes.

Congratulations to Early Bird, Jake Derksen, winner of the $150 Best Buy gift card!

See below for Early Bird deadlines and prizes still up for the taking:

Wednesday, December 6th: $250 Polo Park gift card
Friday, January 12th: $50 Tavern gift card and 2 Moose tickets
Friday, January 19th: $150 Polo Park gift card
Friday, January 26th: $50 Tavern gift card and 2 Moose tickets

To register for the event, click here: 2018 Directions Conference

You can apply for a bursary for the fees to the Directions Conference. Fill out this Applications for Awards form and Directions Application form, and take them to Student Services before January 27, 2018. For more information, visit DirectionsConference.ca.

Directions Conference will be held on February 8, 2018 at Canad Inns Polo Park. For more info, visit DirectionsConference.ca

Student Employment Services offers a wide range of employment services, including assistance with networking, job search, cover letters, resumes and interviews, and hosting employer on-campus events. For additional information, contact Student Employment Services at jobcentre@rrc.ca or 204.632.2463.


Exam and Holiday Stress: 7 Stretches You Can do at Your Desk.

December 1, 2017 • Written by

It is December and the stress of exams and the holidays can take its toll.  The day can get by without noticing how long we’ve been sitting. From the breakfast table at home, driving in the car, to sitting at the desk, our bodies spend a lot of time seated and are not designed for this.

stretchSitting for too long can cause muscle imbalances where it can cause weak and tight muscles. Our backs suffer from weak abdominal muscles giving the back poor support and the forward pull of gravity to flex it forward. With so many ailments today of tight hamstrings and lower back pain we need find some balance to being seated so much in today’s culture.

Here are seven stretches that can be done at your desk and don’t draw too much attention to you for doing them. They take only few minutes and doing them a couple of times a day can dramatically change how you feel. Start with going through them once then take a break and go back to what you were doing. As you become more comfortable you can repeat them and do a couple of sets to get a longer lasting response from the body. Enjoy.

Mario De Negri

Fitness Coordinator at RRC


Amalgamation of the Campus Store and Print Shoppe – EDC

December 1, 2017 • Written by

As of Jan 2, 2018, the Print Shoppe at the Roblin Centre (TRC) downtown will be moving across to the Campus Store at TRC.   This is an exciting time for us as we look to amalgamate our services under one business unit for our faculty and students at EDC.

In preparation for this move, please note the follow hours of operation for December.

  • The TRC Print Shoppe at its current location will be closed for the week of Dec 18 – 22. No print jobs will be accepted or released during this time. Please arrange to have your print jobs printed and picked up before this week.
  • The Campus Store at TRC will remain open during regular business hours Dec 18 – Dec 21. However, we will be closed on Friday, Dec 22.

Please visit the Print Shoppe microsite in January for updated contact information and hours of operation.

I would like to thank everyone for their continued support and patience during this journey as we look forward to better servicing the College in 2018.

Thank you!

Anthony Francisco

Manager – Campus Store & Print Shoppe

Professional Perspective: Keys to success as an entrepreneur with a disability

November 29, 2017 • Written by

Welcome back to Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment related topics!

December 3rd is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities – an international observance proclaimed by the United Nations since 1992. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of on the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

To celebrate this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Chris Gaulin joins us today to share his professional perspective on choosing a career in entrepreneurship as a person with a disability!

Chris is a seasoned entrepreneur from Winnipeg with 20 years’ experience running a number of businesses.  He built and currently operates a wireless Internet service provider, which offers high-speed Internet access to rural communities in Manitoba. Most recently, Chris launched Fastoche, a daycare management suite designed specifically for touch devices that brings cutting-edge technology and communications tools to educators and parents in child care centres.

Today’s question is:

What advice do you have for students and recent graduates with a disability who are interested in a career as an entrepreneur?

Chris Gaulin works on wireless internet antennas atop a 120-foot tower near Angusville, MB

Chris’s Professional Perspective

As a person with a disability, choosing to become an entrepreneur may seem like an audacious undertaking. For the right person, taking the leap can be a much better option than traditional employment, providing more flexibility, better working conditions, and more satisfaction. In my 20 years of self-employment, I believe that the keys to making it are:

  • Figure out what you want to do – then be prepared to change it
  • Know your needs, not just your accommodations, and
  • Define success from day one

Running your own business isn’t easy for anyone. I’ll walk through the three aspects that I believe have led to my success.

Figure out what you want to do – then be prepared to change it

The great part of being an entrepreneur is being able to follow your passion and make a job around it. Choosing a path to go down can be daunting, especially if you’re interested in many things. What most people don’t talk about is that the beauty of entrepreneurship is that you can continuously re-shape what you’re doing. You can wake up tomorrow morning and pivot your business in a new direction that aligns with what you want to do. Changing directions is what makes running your own business exciting and rewarding.

Know your needs, not just your accommodations

There’s no doubt that employment for persons with disabilities is a challenge due to a number of factors. Self-employment provides some great advantages and helps alleviate some of the complex issues that go with traditional employment. But it would be false say that it removes them. I’ve chosen to work from home for most of my career, and that provides me with great control over the accessibility of my work environment. That doesn’t mean that I do not need accommodations. It is vital to know what you need before you start because you don’t have access to the same human resource supports when you’re on your own. The last thing you want is to run into accommodations issues once you start getting traction.

There are community resources that can help you obtain devices and assist with necessary workspace modification here in Manitoba. The key to using these services and government assistance is to know what your needs are. This requires thinking bigger picture. Instead of thinking in terms we are used to of “how do I make this space or situation accessible”, I find it’s better to start from scratch and ask the question “what do I need to be able to do X?” Because you are creating your own work environment, I encourage you to think in broader strokes.

Also put some serious thought into the other aspects of your business that might require some modifications. For me, running a rural business that required visits to customers’ homes was very problematic for someone who could not drive. As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for every aspect of your business and sometimes barriers present themselves in areas you haven’t had experience in.

Define success from day one

Many people define success using a grand scale objective that is really difficult to achieve.  While goals and objectives are an essential part of any business and help set a clear path forward, they aren’t necessarily what defines success for you in business.

Defining success isn’t as easy as setting goals. It’s simple to say “I want to make enough money to quit my job” or “I want to sell a million units by the end of my second year”. While those goals would be satisfying if you reach them, they aren’t what will get you out of bed every morning and motivate you to put all your energy into something that is growing and likely not making money. It’s also important to consider the potential negative impact of not reaching those goals.

When defining success, you need to ask yourself “why did I get into this in the first place?” or “what do I want to get out of this business?” When I ask myself these questions, I don’t look at tangible numbers, but more about what impact I expect. You might define success as having work that doesn’t stress you, or work that allows you to run your business from anywhere in the world. Success might be measured more on the pride you take in the products you create that allows you to sleep better at night.

However you define success, it is important to have a sense of what it means to you before you start, and to re-evaluate it on a regular basis. You might define success now as being able to travel for work, but having flexibility to work different hours might be your priority if you decide to start a family. Success should never be seen as an end game like retirement, but more of a measure of your own happiness.

To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional employment resources, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

College Internet Connection Maintenance

November 22, 2017 • Written by

Information Technology Solutions will be performing equipment and network maintenance to the College internet connection. This work will be completed on Friday, November 24th. Work will begin at 6:00pm and should be completed by 7:00pm.

During this maintenance window there will be interruptions to internet resources from within the College and access to College hosted resources from the internet.

If you have any questions or concerns, please submit a caselog at https://hub.rrc.ca/CaseLog/NewCase.aspx?Area=ITS&Category=57


How Sweet It Is!

November 17, 2017 • Written by

I’ve had it on my mind how to be a better person. I look at myself and see a bit of a tummy, sometimes I’m more tired then I’d like to be or something as simple as what I’m eating url-1would be a healthy change. Just trying to get rid of sugar was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I never realized how much sugar was in everything. This isn’t an understatement. Sugar is in my opinion the number one drug of today’s world. Read More →

More Fun = Better Grades

November 3, 2017 • Written by

As a student I was always looking for ways to get better marks and if possible with less work. Little did I know that shooting hoops with my friends and playing co-ed intramural volleyball was doing exactly that.

A recent article quoted a study from Purdue showed students “who visited rec facilities 15 times or more earned 3.08 GPAs, compared with 2.81 for those who made no visits.” Further evidence for the benefits of visiting your campus recreation centre are shown in a study that “Recreational sports and fitness center members achieved higher GPAs and completed more credits than non-members.” Read More →

Professional Perspective: Getting the most out of industry information sessions

November 3, 2017 • Written by

Welcome back to Professional Perspective, where industry professionals share their insights regarding various employment related topics!

November is Career and Workforce Development Month in Manitoba. This month provides opportunities for job seekers to learn about the rich variety of sectors and industries in Manitoba. For more information on the career events that are being hosted throughout this month of November, click here:

Manitoba.ca > Career Development > Career Month > Events Calendar 

In time for Career and Workforce Development Month, we have Norman Umali, Manager – Career Services at Manitoba Start sharing his professional perspective on making the most out of industry information sessions.

Norman’s professional perspective is based on over 14 years of experience working with internationally-educated newcomer professionals seeking transition to their career field, providing career development and job search supports as well as client marketing to various organizations.

Today’s question is:

What should students, recent graduates, and job seekers do to make the most out of industry information sessions?

Norman’s Professional Perspective

First things first. If you are going to an industry information session without a game plan then you will not get the most out of the session. It’s not about just showing up, getting information, and meeting new people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to be at these events but without a purpose and a strategy you may not get the most out of them. Here are a few tips and suggestions for you and the reasons why you need to do them:

  1. Take notes. At Manitoba Start, we hold industry insights for our clients where we invite organizations from a specific sector to talk about changes in the industry, trends, career pathways, and the competencies employers look for in new hires. We also invite previous clients who have found success in their field to talk about what’s worked and the challenges they’ve faced in forging their career path in the field. Industry information and resources wouldn’t be helpful if they are not incorporated in one’s career exploration and decision-making process, networking, and/or interview strategy.
  1. Know the people who will be at the event, decide on who to approach, and research their organization. If there are a lot of attendees at the event you would want to stand out from the crowd by asking a relevant question or two during the session; having said that, be careful not to overwhelm the speakers with a lot of questions or ask questions you should already know the answers to.
  1. Be on time. Coming in late will also make you stand out from the crowd, but for all the wrong reasons! The same goes for not dressing appropriately, poor hygiene, checking your phone during presentations, and not paying attention to the speakers.
  1. Be prepared to talk about yourself.  Develop a brief “elevator pitch” and practice it until you don’t sound like you’ve memorized it. You may have opportunities to meet industry experts and/or employers at the beginning or end of the event so a smooth, natural response to “tell me about yourself” will create a good first impression. An effective pitch to a contact should be focused and include related experience and education, relevant skills, qualifications, and the type of work you are interested in and suitable for. As well, be aware of how you are expressing yourself – specifically your vocal volume and your body language and be respectful of the speakers’ time.
  1. Make a good first impression. Networking at an industry information session may lead to awareness of existing or upcoming jobs or internship opportunities that are not currently advertised. Creating a good first impression may uncover these “hidden” jobs/opportunities, or better yet, lead to a referral from a contact at the event.

Keep in mind that following these tips and suggestions will not guarantee you a prospective job or internship but they certainly wouldn’t hurt your chances either. You may also note that effective implementation of these strategies takes time and practice, but then again, looking for work is work!

Manitoba Start connects business to a world-class workforce and is the leading provider of career development services for newcomers to the Province.

During the Career and Workforce Development Month, Manitoba Start hosts Industry Insight Events that assist newcomers in growing their network and understanding careers in Manitoba.

For more information, visit www.manitobastart.com.

To read past editions, click here:
Professional Perspective – What employers are really thinking

For additional job searching tips, visit Student Employment Services’ Online Employment Resources or book an appointment with an RRC Employment Advisor at 204.632.3966 or JobCentre@rrc.ca.

Connect with Student Employment Services in Building Z!

October 29, 2017 • Written by

Do you have questions about employment? We can help!

Are you looking for a part-time job or need help launching your career after graduation? RRC’s Student Employment Services can assist with:

  • job search strategies
  • cover letter and resume writing
  • interview preparation
  • access to job postings on JobCentral.rrc.ca
Thursday, November 16, 2017
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Building Z Student Lounge
Notre Dame Campus

For additional information, contact Red River College’s Student Employment Services at 204.632.3966 or email JobCentre@rrc.ca.