By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud. Translated by Genevieve Ayukawa.
If you have ever gone to any event hosted by the Venezuelan Canadian Society of BC (VCSBC) and have heard someone leading like a dynamo, it is most likely Cleopatra Perez.
Continuously making jokes – like a good Venezuelan – the popular Cleo always tries to put order in our usual chaos. In this case, her continuous pursuit of structure seems to stem not only from her own nature but what she has learned in her long career in engineering and supply management.
The current president of VCSBC not only graduated in mechanical engineering at Simón Bolívar University, but also has a master’s degree in business administration and a certificate in logistics management. Along with this academia, Cleo has over twenty years of work experience in her own field as well as other areas.
The professional challenges bring to light Cleo’s best qualities and having moved to Canada has been one her greatest challenges. “You have to accept that you are starting over,” says Cleopatra, adding, “and do it humbly.”
“The difference has been having a fabulous mentor throughout a program at YWCA focusing on professional reinsertion,” she recounts.
This Caraqueña (from Caracas, Venezuela) with ancestors from Margarita and the Andes arrived in Montreal in 2006 with the desire to learn and dedicate herself to what she loves. The journey led her to Fort McMurray and, finally, to Vancouver and the obstacles, of course, followed; but when one door closes, Cleo tries to open a window.
Cleo says that being open to asking for help and learning how things are done in a new country were the keys to joining the working world. “The difference has been having a fabulous mentor throughout a program at YWCA focusing on professional reinsertion,” she recounts.
Cleo’s current position, related to supply/quality management, is at Sacré-Davey Engineering in North Vancouver. There, not only does her passion for her field shine but she is also able to help those that approach her for guidance and/or advice.
Her guidance is also offered to those fellow Venezuelans that approach her after a Guayoyo Chat, during the picnic on July 5th, or in any other event hosted by VCSBC. Her coworkers comment, “She understands the importance of generously sharing her skills and to encouraging others to strive for their goals.”
- Be clear about what you are passionate about,
- Seek for professional help to understand and navigate the job market in Canada,
- Be humble, listen to others, and always be willing to learn,
- Share your skills with those that have recently arrived,
- Try all kinds of foods, at least once[/box]
For Cleopatra, establishing connections throughout her community is critical. Therefore, in addition to leading the executive team of VCSBC, she often attends in workshops, conferences and other events, while also being a member of the Rotary Club Vancouver Sunrise.
To get in touch with Cleopatra just complete the form on our new website: https://vcsbc.ca/es/contact-us/