IWIS Event Recap: Mitacs – Inspiring Innovation
On November 20, IWIS were delighted to invite Sang Mah, the Director of Business Development for Mitacs, to speak about the exciting research and training programs-available for both Canadian and international academic researchers.
Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that is famous for its prestigious internship program. The opportunity allows graduate students or post-doctoral fellows to gain experience working in the Canadian industry while apply their research expertise to advance industrial innovation. More importantly, interns are able to build connections and establish network invaluable for their careers.
To apply, Sang Mah encouraged the participants to submit their research proposals once they find their partnered companies. Companies seeking interns also post available projects on the Mitacs website. To help academic researchers develop skills for success in industry, Mitacs offers free workshops throughout the year, teaching skills from project management, presentation to writing.
An interesting issue was raised in our discussion. While attracting overseas professionals from other parts of the world, a pool of immigrant professionals in Canada may be overlooked, which led to the question: How do we match immigrants possessing the skills which local companies are looking for?
Our highly educated participants with international post-graduate degrees also exchanged ideas on how to gain work experience in Canada. One of our audience commented that “opportunities that may not seem directly related to our career goals, may broaden our network and help prove our soft skills”, emphasizing the importance of having an open mind.
We would like to express our most sincere thanks to Sang Mah who stayed long after the presentation to chat with our participants. It was wonderful to see fifteen of our attendees mingled and networked over delicious food.
Through the Mitacs internship program, our IWIS member, Elizabeth Velasquem, was able to apply her knowledge in business and science while working for a local company. Her story was reported in local news for the second time this year.
Photos taken by Iren Tavakoli
Photo edited and article written by Lee Ling Yang