Julia Huynh had already completed a law degree in Vietnam when she decided to pursue her dream of studying abroad and finding a career that aligned more with her passions. After a successful journey at George Brown College pursuing marketing and an interest in mental health advocacy, she’s now giving back as an alumni mentor to current students through the Centre for Business’ Student-Alumni Mentorship Program.
“I received a lot of support and guidance from the college, especially the academic advisors and Student Association, which helped me take my first step toward a successful career. Now I want to give back and help other international students who may be facing similar challenges I did,” said Huynh, referencing language barriers, financial struggles and entering the Canadian job market, all of which can take a toll on a student’s mental health.
Back in Vietnam, Huynh had been looking to explore her full potential. She heard that George Brown College has a reputation as a leading educational institution among Vietnamese students, as well as the competitive advantage of gaining practical work experience in addition to education.
When she arrived in Canada, Huynh’s path led to class leadership roles, being on the Dean’s List and graduating with honours, already having received a job offer from the wholesale supply company she worked at for her co-op program. Now she works as a freelance digital marketer and is preparing for permanent residency alongside acting as a mentor.
Providing career guidance
For Huynh, mentoring is more than just advising on necessary marketing skills. What excites her the most is guiding her mentees in choosing the right career path and helping them discover their passion for their profession. Additionally, she also emphasizes the development of important soft skills such as time management, problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork.
“I feel proud and honoured to have the opportunity to give back to the community,” said Huynh. “Returning to George Brown College to assist students, especially international students, is a refreshing experience for me. I am delighted to learn from the vision of the Mentorship Program and find it fulfilling to live and work with a sense of purpose.”
As for advice to students, Huynh recommends that they make the most of their time in college because it’s an investment for their future, and remember to prioritize their well-being.
“Living abroad can be stressful at times, but there are resources available on campus to help students cope with these challenges,” said Huynh. “Don’t hesitate to reach out and seek support when you need it. You’re not alone in this journey. With hard work, dedication and a positive mindset, you can achieve your goals towards your future career.”
George Brown offers a range of services and supports for international students. Learn more on the Current International Students page.