Ascend Canada Student Affairs

Through Ascend Canada Student Affairs, our goal is to help set up students with long-term career success. We aim to develop the next generation of Pan-Asian leaders by delivering organized mentorship and networking opportunities, leadership development programs and training, career preparation and planning, and so much more.

We offer a diverse platform where young people can build meaningful connections with pan-Asian leaders and professionals that students can look up to as role models, across our network of corporate and business partners. Ascend also seeks to equip our student members with a strong foundation of support where they can develop their leadership skills and influence their communities.

To help set-up our student members for success, we offer:

Leadership Development: Helping students cultivate and hone their soft skills through volunteer internship roles, workshops, and panels

Networking Events: Connecting with professionals and senior executives across different industries and Ascend’s corporate partners

Mentoring: Providing emerging student leaders with opportunities to gain career and industry insights and guidance

Through our student chapters, we are always looking to grow and develop our connection with students and continue in our mission to help pan-Asian talent reach their full potential.

Why Join Ascend?

Ascend Canada’s student chapters are an integral part of the broader Ascend network. They provide a unique opportunity to members by fostering a community where young and aspiring leaders can meet one another, gain professional support and start building their network, and learn from experts across various industries.

This is what some of our student members have said about how they have benefited from actively engaging with Ascend Canada:

Being part of Ascend Canada has allowed me to grow my network, my leadership capabilities, and most importantly, my confidence as an aspiring student leader. Every time I attend an Ascend event, I see the glass ceiling chipping away.

- Celina Cong – Ascend York University

I’m extremely proud to be part of such an impactful volunteer-driven organization that strives to pave the road for the future of Pan-Asian talent. Ascend has enabled me to gain an amazing network of professional mentors, develop valuable soft skills, and share best practices with my peers. The interpersonal and leadership skills that I cultivated through the University of Waterloo student chapter, gave me an edge in my interviews to secure internship placements with two major Ascend corporate sponsors. Overall, Ascend is truly an invaluable community to be a part of, for both career and personal development.

- Sanon Liu – Ascend University of Waterloo

I started at the Ascend University of Toronto chapter during my third year. It gave me the opportunity to develop my skills and build long-lasting connections with professionals. It also provided me with a supportive community where we could learn from each other and always look out for one another. Ascend helped me become a more well-rounded individual who was ready for any challenges that came my way!

- Emily McCullough – Ascend University of Toronto

Joining Ascend is definitely a remarkable experience which has helped me to grow tremendously. I always felt inspired and empowered by many of the wonderful leaders throughout the organization. As well, being part of the Ascend family helped me to meet like-minded students and gain long-lasting friendships.

- Joanna Yang – Ascend University of Toronto

What Can Students Learn?

Joining the Ascend Canada community means getting the opportunity to learn directly from a diverse network of experienced industry leaders. One of our signature programs is the Ascend Café, our premier mentoring and networking platform.

In addition to Office Hours, Ascend Café also provides student members with regular matches with professionals in the Ascend network for mentoring and career advice.

One of our first Office Hours featured Kelvin Tran, Ascend Canada’s founding president and Chief Financial Officer of TD Bank, as well as several other inspiring leaders, who presented key learnings and personal stories on their journey to success. In another session, members had the opportunity to gather career preparation advice from Victor Tung, an Ascend Canada board member and Executive Vice President – U.S Chief Technology & Operations Officer & Chief Operating Officer at BMO.

The opportunity to provide informative, practical and valuable lessons to student members, along with exposure to industry leaders and trailblazers, is a big part of our goal to support aspiring future leaders on their career journeys.

Here’s what our student members had to say about the insightful advice they received from attending an Office Hour:

I had an amazing opportunity to attend the #AscendOfficeHour with the Ascend University of Waterloo Chapter at TD, hosted by Kelvin Tran. It was inspiring to hear Kelvin's story as a first-generation immigrant and the progression of his career journey, especially being a first-generation immigrant myself.  My key takeaway is that we should pursue learning opportunities no matter what stage we are in our careers. Saying yes to experiences can help us learn and build our reputations, as we never know where or who they will lead us to!

- Shannon Chakma – Ascend University of Waterloo

In my Ascend Café Office Hour session with Victor Tung, I learned to always leave yourself with personal flexibility in every decision you make – that way, you can live life doing what you want to do, being who you want to be. I’m so grateful that Ascend Canada has made impactful opportunities like this possible for students across Canada.

- Celina Cong - Ascend York University

My greatest takeaway from the Ascend Office Hour session with Kelvin Tran, was having an eagerness to learn from new opportunities, as well as presenting a stellar personal brand. I learned that hard work never goes unnoticed, as people will always remember the quality of the work you have done and how you carry yourself.

- Jonathan Hu – Ascend University of Toronto

Thanks to the Ascend Canada Office Hour, I had the wonderful opportunity to connect with Ascend student chapter members and exchange valuable ideas, as well as the chance to hear from Victor Tung, COO at the BMO Financial Group. Through this event, I learned that being confident in yourself and honing your strengths is more important than focusing on your weaknesses.

- Celine Yong – Ascend University of Waterloo

It was inspiring to hear the career journey of Kelvin Tran, Founding President of Ascend Canada, who overcame challenges as a first-generation immigrant to become what he is today. Through the Office Hour event, I learned that being eager to work and learn will go a long way, and that maintaining relationships will pay dividends in the future.

- Joanna Y. - Ascend University of Toronto

Getting Started

With several Ascend Canada student chapters already established, we are always happy to welcome new members. If you are a student at one of the school chapters listed below and have any questions about joining, please feel free to send us an email and we can help you get started. Additionally, if you are interested in starting an Ascend student chapter at your school, contact us to find out more.

Universities in Ontario

Universities in British Columbia