By Nadine Bukhman
The fourth annual JETAA Career Roundtable was held on Thursday, November 10. This year we once again had a great turnout, with recently returned JETs, as well as more established members looking for career inspiration.
Career Roundtable Speaker: Kamara Toffolo
Presentation Topic: Tell Your Story to Get Hired!: How to Stand Out in Today’s Job Market
JET Placement: Annaka-shi, Gunma-ken (2007-2008))
JETAA Position: Prior Membership Assistant, Executive Committee
Bio: Kamara Toffolo is a career coach who helps her clients DARE to do work DIFFERENTLY! Whether a mid-career professional looking to level up at work, a side-hustling entrepreneur itching to take their passion project full-time, or a leader yearning to make a difference. Kamara helps her clients create careers they love. She is a ‘career storyteller’. Kamara takes your own unique career story, and crafts an awesome resume and LinkedIn profile that highlights your strengths and accomplishments, while honoring your authentic journey. After working with Kamara, her clients get interviews in a matter of weeks! In her previous life, Kamara spent 12 years in the financial services and technology industries working for corporations of all sizes. She is an Erickson Certified Professional Coach and graduate of the internationally-acclaimed Erickson College, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Entrepreneurial Management. Kamara has been a featured writer and expert in many publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Inc., and The Daily Muse to name a few. Kamara credits her time as a JET with helping her refine her skills in workshop facilitation, speaking and presenting, and listening like a BOSS which is essential in her line of work. As well, teaching English to students who ask the toughest questions about language rules allowed Kamara to develop a very strong appreciation for English and a heightened attention to detail which she brings into her writing services and speaking engagements.
Career Roundtable Speaker: Sebastian Cosgrove
Presentation topic: Using your language skills in aviation: the business, where you can go and how you can use your B.Ed. or other experience to get a “leg up”.
Years on Jet: Never! But I loved Dragon Boating with the team.
Bio: Sebastian has a teaching degree from Queen’s University after completing the Concurrent Education program at Trent University. With a major in Modern Languages, he was hired by Air Canada during his studies as a Flight Attendant. Upon graduation, he started as Training Specialist responsible for hiring and training flight attendants. Shortly after, he launched Air Canada’s internal social network and has now created Cargo’s Customer Relations Department.
Career Roundtable Speaker: Joanna Kirke
Presentation Topic: Building Your Cultural Competence and Positioning Your Experience as a Leadership Advantage: Your global experience gives you a competitive advantage to lead with a global mindset. In this session we will learn how to position that advantage and build your cultural leadership competence in the workplace.
Years on JET: Tochigi Prefecture, Utsonomiya, (1 year) as teacher for Chuo Joshiko and at Mo Gakko (a school for children with disabilities)
Bio: President, Executive Coach and Leadership Developer at Kirke Consulting.
After teaching ESL at Queen’s University School of English and for the JET Programme in Japan, Joanna returned to Canada to join the Learning Department of a high-tech company building a Corporate University and later coached Executives and led programs in Financial Services. She completed an International MBA at Rotman, a Certificate in Evidence Based Coaching at Fielding Graduate University and a Yoga Teacher Training Certificate at Octopus Garden for increased mindfulness. She now owns and operates her own Consulting Business and has taught and coached thousands of leaders around the globe in leadership topics across the spectrum. She has worked with such companies as Bell, TD Bank, BMO, CIBC, Meridian, Sovereign General, Canadian Tire, Capital One, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Enbridge, Vexos, KPMG, McMillan LLP, The Nova Scotia Department of Justice, KidsAbility, CamH, Detour Gold, Golcorp, The Women in Leadership Foundation, and Pratt & Whitney. Joanna is looking forward to sharing her leadership tools with you.
Career Roundtable Speaker: Chris Draenos
Presentation Topic: Improving Presentation and Facilitation Skills (Topic relevant to any!)
JET Placement: Karatsu-shi, Saga-ken (2006-2008)
JETAA Exec Position: (current) Director, Special Projects; (former) Chair; (former) Conference Coordinator
Bio: I am current studying to be a nurse, with an interest in public health and working with marginalized populations. Prior to that, I have 8 years of experience in the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry in hospital administration, project management, market research and privacy. My experience on JET is not directly related to my current career but provided me with transferable skills, such as facilitating workshops, designing health education using learning principles, cultural sensitivity, flexibility and adaptability.