On this episode I’m interviewing Etna Rodriguez, a Mexican
Sales and Marketing professional that immigrated as a student to Toronto.
Why did you move to Toronto?
Etna wanted to study a master’s degree for quite some time, but it was until the opportunity to move to another country appeared that she decided to move.
“Moving to another country as a student is an opportunity you should take because it may not come back, so just do it. You become an adult though those things and the hardships that come from them.”
For her, immigrating as a student allowed her to start building her network and meet new people and make new friends.
“Coming as a student gives you the opportunity to network and meet new people. You start having this sense of community, which is very important. You have someone every single day to talk and connect.”
Was it easy to adapt to Toronto?
She was fortunate enough to have her now husband waiting for her in Toronto. He moved before her and helped her to feel welcome when she arrived.
“I think I had it easy in many ways. [My partner] arranged my housing, so when I came here I had all that ready. Even something as simple as having someone to pick up at the airport. That really helped me a lot.”
What was the impact of your studies in your professional life?
Etna found that the master’s degree helped her to get interviews and that’s how she found her first job in Canada.
“The master’s degree helped me to get interviews. It basically validated my experience. It shows that you adapted well because you have this degree from a Canadian institution.”
She found out that the Canadian Experience
requirement was still there even though she had a master’s degree.
Did you face any challenges finding a job?
“One company where I was hired, they weren’t even sure which documents they needed to hire me. And it turned out that, of course, when I showed up at work I was the only immigrant there.”
Etna Rodriguez is a Mexican sales and marketing professional living in Canada. She started her career in the chemical and technology industries, but she moved into the cosmetic industry with the hope to help others improve their self-image and self-esteem. She spent several years in this industry, managing: Marketing, Training, Merchandising and Public Relations initiatives for various international prestige brands both in Mexico and Canada. After doing her MBA from Schulich in Toronto, her will to help others was stronger and made her transition to the pharmaceutical industry where she started in a sales role and is currently a trainer for sales teams at her dream company: Janssen Canada.
Etna’s immigration challenge and hardship drove her to lead social initiatives to help other immigrants: founding the Canadian Association of Latin Americans in Healthcare (CALAH) and supporting her alma mater (ITESM university) alumni chapter in Toronto with INTEGRATEC assisting newcomers settle professionally and have networking support. She is also a professor at the Humber College Faculty of Business and a proud mom of her 11-month-old son, married and living in Toronto.
Learn more about Etna