Born and raised in Chandigarh, India. Vaishnavi ‘navi’, came to Canada in 2018 as an international student at BCIT in the Computer Information Technology Program. Navi loves challenging herself and moving to Canada was just another challenge that she chose to take. Having gone through the initial stages of moving to a foreign country and not knowing the culture or the people, Navi is now familiar with the common experiences that a lot of international students face. She is currently the Social Media Marketing Lead for Empower International Students and in her role she helps document the experiences of students through social media to create awareness around the achievements, struggles and experiences of international students in BC.
VP of Strategy
A curious person driven to find value in shared communities & helping people become the best version of themselves. Sharing laughs, meals and conversations!
JB came to Canada to do his MBA in 2017. He realized, as a new immigrant, the importance to network & grow his standing in the professional community. He is actively involved with ProductBC (a community of Product Managers) and the tech sector in Vancouver. He firmly believes that change is the only constant and to grow you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. He envisions EMPOWER to make a meaningful impact in every students journey & his role is to facilitate this impact aka getting things done. And yes, he is very fond of snow!
Nancy attended the Canadian offshore school in China and then completed her Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing) at Simon Fraser University. Throughout her academic life, she participated in international internship (in Shanghai), volunteer (in Phuket) and exchange programs (in Hong Kong).
With Nancy's passion for education and international marketing, she currently works as a Marketing & Admission Assistant at a Vancouver based college, helping international students to plan their academic path and grow networks in Canada.
Favourite Quote: 'You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take _ Wayne Gretzky'
Born and raised, and educated in Poland, Magda yearned for more. In 2011 Magda left her homeland and moved to Singapore where she was accepted to an International School finishing her IB Diploma in 2014. And true to form, Magda set her sights further and farther away. She moved to Vancouver in 2014 to advance her studies taking Psychology & Sociology at UBC where she graduated in May 2018. Throughout her university career, Magda found herself passionate about event organizing. She volunteered in a few organizations, such as Resident Hall Association, AMS Events & UBC Fashion Week, where she gained a good amount of experience in events. Never one to miss an opportunity, Magda joined Empower International Students, to share her knowledge about living in Vancouver as an international student. She decided to help out with the event organization as that was the department where she feels the strongest. Magda prides herself on being organized & creative and she really enjoys meeting new people from all around the world. Magda enjoys people from all walks of life and prides herself in understanding and being able to tend to the needs of those she meets.
Having been in Canada for 7 years, worked for various global companies, Pat realized how difficult it is for international students to get a job and compete with local candidates. She knows it takes extra hard work to understand the job-seeking process, build confidence to compete with the locals, and create a professional network in a new country. Her passion for building community, bringing out the best in people, and helping like-minded people inspired her to found EMPOWER International Students with a sole purpose to help international students get a job they deserve and reach their fullest potential in a new country. She believes that “you become the teacher you wish you had” and “pay it forward”.
Meet our team.
Mentorship Program Operations Lead
Originally from Ukraine, Evelina lived, studied and worked in the United Arab Emirates for seven years prior to moving to Vancouver in 2014 to complete her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and International Relations from the University of British Columbia. Since graduating, Evelina gained work experience in the educational field, and is currently pursuing her passion of increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion in academic institutions. Evelina has volunteered in organizations such as Riding for the Disabled Association of Dubai, Access Pro Bono Society of B.C., and the Ubyssey Newspaper. As an international student and industry professional herself, Evelina is eager to support the international student community in Vancouver. At EMPOWER she is focusing her attention and efforts on supporting the Mentorship Program; to ensure that each participating mentor and mentee benefit from the program.
Community Engagement Lead
Alan came to Vancouver in 2008 and started studying at highschool at Coquitlam city. He graduated with honor and proceeded to go to Simon Fraser University and major in Business Administration. He discovered his passion at technology later on and decided to become a developer after graduation. Now he merges his background in business and skill and interest in IT and become a business analyst. As a used-to-be international student, he sympathizes the difficulty international students have to go through to be established here after graduation. Because of that, he is dedicated to help other like-minded international students to go through the journey easier, by sharing his knowledge, his skills, and the tools he makes, one step at a time.
Sherry Liao is a 2D graphic designer and motion graphic designer with experiences in product marketing, branding strategy and event marketing. In her roles as a storyteller and visual communications coordinator, she seeks to craft meaningful visual experience to build a bridge between brands and audiences. .