Dozens of Choices For Wide Audience: New Workshops Provide Ready-to-Go Skills

2011-2012 Issue 1

What’s the best place in Montreal to pick up instantly usable career- and life-enhancing skills from professionals, entrepreneurs and business experts, and get a resumé-worthy McGill attestation? The answer: At Career and Professional Development’s newly launched series of workshops and training seminars. Heading up over 40 practical and relevant short-term offerings, recognized industry leaders and educators are sharing their valuable insights and professional acumen in areas ranging from business and communication skills to personal growth and marketing and sales strategies.

“We’ve designed our workshops to provide valuable skills as quickly as possible. Learners will come away with important tools, tips and techniques that they can employ right away in their business, professional or personal lives,” says Inna Popova, Associate Director, Professional Development and Corporate Training. “These offerings will appeal to a wide range of individuals who would like to get solid professional andpersonal ‘how-to’ type skills. And our schedule offers a variety of options – during the day, at night or on weekends.


Inna Popova, Associate Director, Professional Development and Corporate Training

Inna Popova, Associate Director, Professional Development and
Corporate Training

“A really important part of our programming is the quality and experience of our instructors,” continues Popova. “We have unmatched professional talent who share their insights and hard-won expertise.” Instructors for upcoming workshops include Michael Kamel, the Director of Strategy & Business Development at Bombardier Aerospace, who covers project risk and innovation; Guy Martel, Director of Lean Solutions Practice at Fujitsu, who shares lean business practices; Robert Boyer, Lead Architect, Security Services, Standard Life, who teaches computer security; and Pinny Gniwisch, founder of online jewellery store, who heads up the Marketing Power of Social Media.

Lloyd Bartlett, an MBA and engineer, will be leading several workshops on project management, an area that he knows very well, given his 25 years of experience in that realm. Bartlett is enthused about the new shorter format offerings: “These will be great for providing people with tools and approaches they can apply immediately. I’m sure there will be lots of ‘aha’ moments along the way, as the instructors divulge their secrets and best practices and demonstrate the tools of their trades.”

Ann Brosseau, who has vast experience in psychology, sociology, adult education, management and training, and leads a variety of human resources-related workshops, concurs on the new format: “I really enjoy seeing participants gain skills on the spot and share how they will be using what they learn in the workplace. I love addressing practical questions like ‘How can I apply this in my organization?’ and ‘How could I use this in such-and-such a situation?’”


One popular workshop is Consultative Selling Skills, led by Giovanni Di Girolamo. This is not surprising, given that a quick scan of job postings shows that highly skilled and specialized sales professionals are very much in demand. As well, some formerly non-commercial environments now require employees to develop sales skills in addition to their core competencies. According to Popova, “The kind of guidance and valuable tips Giovanni provides are typical of our workshops. Students can take these into the office the next day and put them into practice.” Susan Glazer, a recent graduate of Di Girolamo’s workshop, couldn’t agree more: “Great course – I was able to start using Giovanni’s techniques right away.”

Another popular workshop that’s already been run twice – and has attracted everyone from a professional athlete to recent retirees planning to start small businesses – is From Idea to Launch: Transforming Business Ideas into Reality. In this intensive week- long course, Gillian Pritchett, a chartered accountant with entrepreneurial experience in several countries, provides her students with a very practical toolkit to help turn good ideas into entrepreneurial success. Not surprisingly, the word is out on this workshop, which is bringing in people from Toronto and Ottawa.


Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 11.59.38 AMAccording to Popova, many of these new workshops are vital because they directly maintain and enhance the knowledge, skills and competencies of working professionals. “We have partnered with many organizations to recognize and promote our courses and workshops. Their members learn new skills while earning continuing professional development units, which are now mandatory in so many professions. Given the breadth of our offerings, we would like to become the first choice provider of English-language continuing education solutions for professional orders and associations in Quebec.”


While the majority of the workshops and courses bring people together at 688 Sherbrooke Street West, Inna Popova and her team are expanding the popular webinar format. “In many ways, online workshops are ideal for many topics. We can accommodate a large number of people in an interactive format and at a convenient time, such as at noon on a workday. We offered four webinars in the spring on the topic of Crisis and Reputation Management and they went very well, so we are putting together more for the coming year. The beauty of the webinar is, of course, that people can participate from the convenience of their workplace or home – wherever they can log in.


If Popova has a mantra about the wealth of workshop offerings that Career and Professional Development is rolling out this year, it comes down to those four words. “Our workshops are for everyone – they’re not limited to business executives. We’re really targeting working professionals and the general public with these because they are so wide-ranging and convenient to take – some during the day, some in the evening, some on weekends, or a combination of those timeslots.” As well as the many other tangible benefits that workshop attendees will enjoy, at the end they receive a McGill attestation. “And no on can deny that looks great on a resumé!” she concludes.


Professional Development and Corporate Training workshops cover areas such as Business and Management; Communication Skills; Entrepreneurship; Finance and Accounting; Human Performance; Information Technology; Intellectual Property; Leadership; Marketing and Sales; and Project Management. For full details, go to:


Barreau du Québec; Certified General Accountants (CGA), Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation (CITT), Certified Management Accountants (CMA), International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Ordre des administrateurs agréés du Québec (ADMA), Project Management Institute (PMI)

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