Industry Panel: Meet former International Students now in Vancouver Tech!

Date and Time: Tue, November 26, 2019 / 6-8 pm
Location: Room 550/560, Main Campus, Columbia College

Columbia College Career Services in partnership with EMPOWER International Students presents:


Are you interested in a career in tech? Come learn from and connect with former international students now employed as software developers and engineers by leading tech companies such as SAP, Amazon, and EA (Electronic Arts)

What you can expect:

  • Experience sharing, thoughtful conversations, and tips and tricks from former international students who know what the tech career journey is like.
  • Free pizza dinner provided!
  • Networking opportunities. Meet professionals and gain insight into the tech industry. 
  • Time for questions and answers from the audience.

Please contact our Career Advisor, Linus, at [email protected] if you have questions.

About our partner, EMPOWER International Students:

EMPOWER International Students is a community-driven organization supporting international students in career development. They help international students jump start their career in a new country via a wide-range of career development opportunities specifically designed to meet international students’ needs. They provide a series of events and workshops, 1:1 career-development support and various leadership opportunities.  
MeetUp group: International Students of Vancouver
Instagram: @empoweris


5:30 PM – Check-in / registration Panelists arrive & networking
6:00 PM – Kick-off speech by Linus & EMPOWER
6:15 PM – Panel discussion start
6:45 PM – Q&A
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Networking

Speakers’ Bios:

Napon Taratan, Software Developer at Amazon
Napon came to Canada in 2008 as an international student. In 2017, he graduated from UBC with a Computer Science degree in Software Engineering. He currently works at Amazon Vancouver and has over 3 years of industry experience as a developer. Napon believes in empowering the next generation of students through Computer Science education and mentoring. Outside of work, he is an active volunteer of Microsoft TEALS program, and spends his time teaching Computer Science to high school students.

Asif Mammadov, Senior Software Developer at SAP
I am Asif Mammadov and originally from Baku, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a former Soviet Union country neighbouring Russia, Turkey and Iran along with Georgia and Armenia. I moved to Vancouver, Canada in 2011 to do my undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Major in Computer Science and Minor in German degree in late 2015.

Besides my academics, I was actively involved with the community throughout my studies. I founded Azerbaijani Students Association at UBC, organized numerous events for Azerbaijani and Turkic community, volunteered at Vancouver Co-op Radio, held the role of Vice President at UBC Sailing Club and a few other volunteering opportunities.

In my last term, I did a Capstone project in combination with Department of Computer Science and Centre for Digital Media. This project helped me gain industry experience and the self-confidence to apply to jobs. Not long after, I started looking for job opportunities. As a result, I received an internship offer from SAP which was 8 months long and scheduled to start 2 weeks after my last final exam. For a student soon to graduate, this was too good of an opportunity to pass on, and I didn’t. I accepted the role. 4 months into my internship, I received a full time offer to join one of the newly formed SAP Analytics Cloud teams. After 3 years and 1 months I am still with the same team and my role is a Senior Software Developer. Our team focuses on Product Reliability and Cloud Infrastructure. Recently, I have also joined a very small Startup called Soter Labs as a Sales Manager. I see this as a perfect learning opportunity for Sales skill which is very important in today’s business world.

Outside of my daily job, I am currently the chair of Millennial Advisory Committee to Science World, advising them on their 3 strategic pillars and providing feedback from a youth perspective. I spend the rest of my time reading about personal development and financial independence. I am also an avid skier and sailor on their respective seasons. Oh, let’s not forget about my love for TV shows and movies ?

Edmund Ham, Software Developer at SAP
Born and raised in Seoul, Korea. Edmund came to Vancouver in 2015 when he was 18 for the Computer Systems Technology program at BCIT. Despite being in a technical program and industry, he realizes that not only technical parts of it are important, but also other behavioural and professional skills. He knows the difficulties that international students face when searching for a job for the first time outside of the country where all the cultures and practices are different and is always wanting to help people who are in the same situation as him.

Shrey Swades Nayak, Software Developer at EA (Electronic Arts)
I am a Software engineer from India. I graduated from UBC computer science and I currently work for EA Sports. I have always been passionate about game development and Sims is my favorite game! I love dogs – all kinds of them! I also love bubble tea and street food.