68 episodes

The Immigrants of Toronto podcast is a place to listen to stories of immigration from people who, at any point in time, decided to call Toronto their home.

You will find stories from people that just arrived, or also from others who have been living here most of their lives. But all these people share something in common, they were born somewhere else in the world, and now live in Toronto.

So if you're curious to listen to what the life of an immigrant is, you're in the right place.

Learn more about the project at immigrantsoftoronto.com

Immigrants of Toronto Oscar Cecena

    • Documentary
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

The Immigrants of Toronto podcast is a place to listen to stories of immigration from people who, at any point in time, decided to call Toronto their home.

You will find stories from people that just arrived, or also from others who have been living here most of their lives. But all these people share something in common, they were born somewhere else in the world, and now live in Toronto.

So if you're curious to listen to what the life of an immigrant is, you're in the right place.

Learn more about the project at immigrantsoftoronto.com

    Ep #61: Shauna Cole (Career Coach)

    Ep #61: Shauna Cole (Career Coach)

    In this episode, I chat with Career Coach and Expert Shauna Cole about newcomers' discrimination and underemployment.







    One of the most challenging situations a newcomer can experience is underemployment. Shauna Cole has been working with new immigrants for a while, and today she'll be sharing some advice.







    Subscribe to the Podcast







    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn.







    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and you want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch shortly after receiving your submission.







    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena and this is Immigrants of Toronto.







    Learn more about Shauna Cole







    Shauna Cole







    Hi! I’m Shauna Cole, the founder of Career Interrupted.







    I created these educational programs as a productive response to the unjust discrimination I’ve experienced and witnessed in the corporate roles I formerly held. I have a lifetime of firsthand knowledge of the subtle and overt ways that bias affects professionals of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds.







    I teach courses in human resources, leadership and communications in the bachelor’s and master’s programs in Business Administration at the University of New Brunswick. I’m a Chartered Professional in Human Resources, and hold an MBA.















    Get in touch with Shauna







    * LinkedIn* YouTube* careerinterrupted.ca

    • 32 min
    Ep #60: Margarita de Antuñano (Mexico)

    Ep #60: Margarita de Antuñano (Mexico)

    In this episode, I speak with Margarita de Antuñano. She moved from Mexico to Canada when she was 22 years old. She shares her immigration story with us today.







    Subscribe to the Podcast







    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn.







    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and you want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch shortly after receiving your submission.







    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena and this is Immigrants of Toronto.







    Learn more about Margarita de Antuñano







    Margarita de Antuñano







    Margarita De Antuñano has as worked as a cross-cultural trainer and curriculum developer since 1993 with expertise in assisting expatriate employees and their families transitioning to new cultures and facilitating group business training for people working across cultural borders for global corporations. She has also trained for United Nations, Canadian Government agencies and International Relocation companies in the USA and Canada.







    Born in Mexico, she achieved her undergraduate degree at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. She received a scholarship to undertake her Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Adult Education /Comparative International and Language Learning Education at the University of Toronto. She is the founder and director of the Canada-Mexico Cultural Exchange Centre Inc. www.canadamexico.com, a one-stop that facilitates the links between Canada and the world. She has coordinated the Spanish Program at HSC, a prestigious private school in Ontario, for eleven years and trains Spanish Teachers.







    Margarita has lived in Mexico and Canada and travelled globally. She has attended and presented several seminars at International Conferences like the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association (OMLTA), the Future Generations Alliance Foundation, to mention a few. She is the recipient of prestigious awards.







    A citizen of the world herself, in her spare time, she enjoys travelling and hiking with her Canadian husband and her polyglot ( speaks three languages) daughter. She also enjoys following Emilia McCarthy to sets around the world with her acting career. Emilia was Brad Pitt's daughter in the Golden Globe movie BABEL, Disney and more.















    Get in touch with Margarita







    * Link...

    • 31 min
    Ep #59: Microaggressions and their impact on immigrants

    Ep #59: Microaggressions and their impact on immigrants

    Today I'll be talking about microaggressions and how they impact us as immigrants.















    So, what is a microaggression?







    According to the Oxford dictionary, a microaggression is:







    A statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group.Oxford Dictionary







    What that means is that they usually appear harmless or even as a compliment. And they're generally related to someone's identity.







    Let me give you an example that just happened at my office. On International Women's Day, one of the managers sent a message that read, "happy women's day to all the ladies."







    Seemed harmless. I even cheered it. But, it triggered a big complaint. I even discussed this with a couple of my female colleagues, who didn't think of this as a big deal.







    I told them that if you think about this as a fight for women's rights, it shouldn't be a "happy" day because women are still fighting for wages and leadership positions. It's a day to recognize the fight, not to celebrate someone just because of their gender.







    And I gave them a couple of examples. How do you think regular, working people feel if a CEO of a Bank that makes 300 million a year sends an official message saying something like "happy labour day to all the workers."







    Or a random straight guy saying, "happy pride day to all gays." That doesn't sound politically correct, is it?







    Does this mean that my colleague meant any harm when he posted that? No, on the contrary, he just wanted to be a nice guy.







    But that is the root of microaggressions. Most people who do that are ordinary folks like you and me who think about us as good, decent individuals.







    Microaggression occurs because they're outside of our conscious awareness.







    At the start of the episode, I read the definition of the term. And, one thing that needs to be highlighted is the part that reads "instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination."







    Don't get me wrong. This is different than direct aggression. I'm not saying that people who do this are the same as a white supremacist group. Not at all. Those guys are explicitly aggressive.







    An example of a microaggression that I took as a compliment







    As an immigrant, when I moved here, I was looking to blend into the Canadian culture. I tried not to talk to people who spoke Spanish, so I could force myself to speak English as much as I could. One day, I was talking to my boss at the time. I was apologizing for a grammatical mistake I made in a presentation. Explaining that since English was my second language, it was something I usually did. Mainly because in Spanish, we use the same word for ON, IN, and AT. So it's tricky to use the correct one every single time.







    Anyway, that's not the point. The point is that she stopped me and said, "you're right. I forget you're Mexican. I don't really see you as an immigrant because your English is excellent."







    I took that as a huge compliment. My goal of belonging to my new culture was almost fulfilled! But then, years later, when I started doing this podcast, I thought, "in her mind, immigrants don't speak English well. That's why she didn't see me as an immigrant."







    She didn't mean this as offensive. On the contrary, it was a compliment. But it showed the bias beneath it, Immigrants don't speak well. That's the stereotype we've accepted.







    It's like asking a first-generation immigrant,

    • 11 min
    Ep #58: Sanchari Sen Rai (India)

    Ep #58: Sanchari Sen Rai (India)

    In this episode, I speak with Sanchari Sen Rai. She moved from India to Canada 10 years ago. She shares her immigration story with us today.







    Subscribe to the Podcast







    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn.







    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and you want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch shortly after receiving your submission.







    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena and this is Immigrants of Toronto.







    Learn more about Sanchari Sen Rai







    Sanchari Sen Rai







    Sanchari is an immigrant small business entrepreneur and an Immigration Consultant leading an all-women team, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of EDUCATION CONSULTANTS CANADA (ECC) Inc. that helps thousands of international students work through the onerous process of applying to study in Canada. She has been awarded as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award 2019 (Entrepreneur Category). She was also the top 50 finalist for the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award and a finalist for the Women of Inspiration Award 2020.







    At ECC, Sanchari aspires to do business in a certain way, where her women employees leave with more than just job skills. Through rigorous self-development training, they are empowered with vital communication and life skills that will carry them throughout their professional and personal journey.







    ECC is a bootstrapping company and gives novice opportunities as a new hire, especially international students. Sanchari believes that for students to succeed in their studies abroad, they must be armed with the right information and the right support structure. When a student is nurtured to academic success, it paves the way for that student to remain, integrate with the culture and diversity and be a part of the community.







    Given the challenges faced by all, especially international students with the pandemic over the past year, she had been trying to make an impact by pivoting the business, creating jobs, internship opportunities for international students. She is actively associated as Mentor with three different organizations volunteering her time for immigrant women, international students, and newcomers to the country, especially during this unprecedented time.







    As a business owner, she has the expertise to consult in her industry—so using that expertise to offering valued services for free, like providing consultation to job seekers who are fresh immigrants/fresh graduates in the country on their resume design and interviewi...

    • 27 min
    Ep #57: First Anniversary of the 2-week lockdown

    Ep #57: First Anniversary of the 2-week lockdown

    Today I'll be talking about the last 365 days as we commemorate the first anniversary of the 2-week lockdown.















    2-week lockdown anniversary







    A lot of things have happened in the past year. We have seen thousands of jobs lost, people we loved have passed away, and we even saw something unprecedented, a considerable drop of the required Express Entry points to apply for the Canadian Permanent Residency.







    Other recommended listens:







    * The first episode after COVID was declared a pandemic* Short Series focusing on COVID-related issues (Job hunting, upcoming recession, real estate market, mental health, etc.)* Asad Faruqi's first year in Canada as he arrived when the lockdown started















    Subscribe & Follow!







    Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts! And, if you haven’t done so already, follow Immigrants of Toronto on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.







    If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on social media, I reply to every message I receive.







    If this podcast has helped you in any way, I really want to hear about it! You can go to the website and click on Send Voicemail and leave a sweet message that I will most certainly feature on an episode. Honestly, every time I hear that what I’m doing is helping, it makes all the effort worthy.







    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form to schedule your interview.







    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.

    • 7 min
    Ep #56: Asad Faruqi (Pakistan)

    Ep #56: Asad Faruqi (Pakistan)

    Today, I chat with Asad Faruqi. He moved from Pakistan right when the lockdown started, and, unfortunately, he hasn't lived in the city outside of the pandemic.







    He also gives some good advice to newcomers who are moving to Canada during the current situation, especially on building your network at this time.







    Subscribe to the Podcast







    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn.







    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and you want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form. I’ll be in touch shortly after receiving your submission.







    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena and this is Immigrants of Toronto.







    Learn more about Asad Faruqi







    Asad Faruqi







    My name is Asad, and I was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan.







    My field of expertise is in Digital Marketing, with a focus on content development and technical communication. 







    I moved to Canada in 2020. After landing a job in my field of expertise, I have been helping new immigrants with job searching and networking, especially in content marketing. I have connected with several newcomers on LinkedIn and shared my tips and tricks on expanding your network and standing out among a sea of job applicants.







    I am really excited to share my story with you through this podcast and help you out in any way. Feel free to connect with me!















    Get in touch with Asad







    * LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/asad-ahmad-faruqi/

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Ehgirl79 ,

Story of unsung heroes of their own lives

I don’t do podcast (I just don’t do) but I quite enjoy this podcast because of the genuine storytelling. You can tell both Oscar, the interviewer and guests are real people and you can relate to their stories as an “ordinary person”. In many cases, social media tends to highlight people with “extraordinary job titles/accomplishments; however, this podcast focuses on those unsung heroes of their own lives, who have taken the roadless traveled. You can only imagine what it takes to be an immigrant/newcomer — I deeply appreciate their stories which truly make me feel humble and empowered, because I believe that those ordinary people are real change makers who shape the future of our community.

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things” - Barack Obama

Marcela Chein ,

A relatable podcast to immigrants

I like listening to the stories of different immigrants and realize that all of us share similar experiences while trying to adapt to a new life.

Jeffokoyee ,

Interesting stories

I'm an immigrant and I'm happy I found a place where I can listen to immigrants and their struggles because I went through the same ones when I arrived back in 1987. Very entertaining.

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