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Illume Student Advisory Services Ltd is an educational services company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Branded as Illume Consulting until 2019, we have been providing a host of diverse services to Canadian post-secondary institutions and school boards across Canada, as well as to foreign students abroad.
Illume Student Advisory Services Ltd provides representation in various capacities to different institutions in key locations around the world, where school boards and post-secondary schools find it lucrative to recruit international students. In particular, Illume focuses on and has a strong presence in, Africa and Mauritius, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and other parts of Asia. Streamlined direct marketing in print and online, screening of potential students on-site at recruitment fairs and meetings, school visits, coordinating visiting professors to make presentations, transcript evaluation and file completion, are all part of Illume’s services. For nearly two decades, schools have relied on Illume to seek out the best students to fit programs and meet the needs of diversification and enhancement of international student numbers on campuses across Canada.
Since its inception, Illume Student Advisory Services Ltd has continued to grow in representation and diversity. From 2004 to present, the number of institutions represented for recruitment and marketing has grown from three institutions to twenty-two in 2020.
Illume Student Advisory Services Ltd has been committed to opening up new markets over time, as well. Company President, Karuna Ausman, has been recognized as one of the “oldest players” in the market. She introduced a marketing and recruitment strategy to bring Africa, Middle East, and India students to Canadian campuses in numbers not seen previously. Illume’s presence in various markets is summarized in the following table:
With increased target marketing in emerging markets with highly qualified students (such as Mauritius) and a commitment to opening up otherwise untapped regions, Illume continues to pay keen attention to market demographics, educational standards, economic trends, and visa approval rates worldwide in order to grow as an organization
To provide educational institutions with the knowledge and expertise to find international students that are the right fit for their programs and assisting students in choosing programs that meet their personal and academic goals.
To commit to the vision of every student’s pursuit of a happy and successful life alongside becoming a responsible global citizen within Canadian society.
Our Amazing Team
President and CEO
With 23 years’ experience in international student recruitment and 30 years of teaching experience, Karuna has an enthusiasm for all aspects of international education. She has helped thousands of students pursue their education in Canada and is known around the world as “THE” expert on studying in Canada. Karuna is extensively experienced in all aspects of international education from international student recruitment, capacity building, marketing, international partnership development, and market analysis. She speaks four languages and is equally comfortable speaking to a student as to a foreign dignitary or a university president. She has travelled with the Prime Minister of Canada and various government officials on trade missions and is an international advocate for Canada as a study destination.
Mike Henniger is an international education professional who brings two decades of success and experience in the university, vocational and language training sectors. Mike has helped education institutions across the globe build their international student recruitment capabilities. He is passionate about marketing, recruitment and student services and is a global thought leader in international education and a popular speaker at education conferences and institutions around the world. Mike firmly believes that to be successful in international student recruitment, institutions need to understand global student mobility trends, the student journey, and how to provide the best possible experience for their students. He prides himself on providing practical assistance to the clients he works with that ultimately helps them achieve their internationalization goals.
VP, International Business Development
Jamshid Mirzabekov holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Thompson Rivers University and is currently completing a Master of Law (LLM) – International Commercial Law at the University of Salford. Over the past decade, he has held several senior management positions in various international recruitment organizations. Jamshid has worked diligently to build positive and productive relationships with colleagues, partners and stakeholders to set, reach and exceed strategic business goals. His transparency, self-motivation and creative problem-solving skills have earned him credibility and trust across all levels of an organization. He enjoys mentoring, empowering and inspiring students as they embark on their study-abroad journeys.
Director of Communications
Tasha Ausman is based in Quebec, Canada, and provides Illume Support from within Canada. Her primary responsibilities include liaison work with Illume team members, institutions and partners, production of reports and documents, and working with website design. As a member of the Illume team based in Canada year-round, she consolidates information from partners abroad and our networks within the Canadian context. Tasha’s education includes a B.Sc (Hons) in Physiology and Developmental Biology from the University of Alberta, B.Ed (Biology/Chemistry), MA (Society, Culture and Literacies), and Ph.D. (Mathematics Education) from the University of Ottawa. She is presently a full-time high school teacher in Quebec and a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa. When not teaching, she plays the bassoon for the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra and teaches children music.
Director Partnerships - Asia
A former international student herself, Annie brings a unique perspective along with her over 10 years of experience in the field of international recruitment. Annie also comes to us with an extensive knowledge of marketing, business administration, and project management as well as strong language skills and a keen sense of intercultural awareness. Her affinity for public speaking and superb interpersonal skills will be an asset as Illume forges new relationships in Asia.
Hazel Siromoni holds a Masters of Clinical Psychology from Delhi University and has worked in the international education sector for almost 30 years most of which have been spent in the Canadian education space. From 1999 to 2007, she was engaged with the Canadian Education Centre, India (CECN) which was set up with the support of the Canadian government to promote Canada as a prime destination for international education. Through CECN, she has worked with more than 200 Canadian institutions and travelled extensively across Canada visiting universities, colleges and high schools. In the subsequent years, she served as Managing Director of Maple Bear, South Asia, became the CEO of ICBC (Indo-Canadian Business Chamber) and eventually, the CEO of Modi Edutech which focused on the expansion of the education-related interests of the VK Modi Group. In February 2014, she received the Governor General of Canada's Gold Medal for her contribution to the promotion of Canadian education in India and for facilitating Canada-India relations. Other accomplishments include contributions to several articles and book chapters that focus on women in the workplace and breaking the glass ceilings, most notably Awaken the Magic by J. M. Beda and A. S. Balasundaram. Her other activities include volunteering for NGOs operating in the gender equality space, and serving as President of the YWCA, Delhi (2015, 2017-2019). Hazel is passionate about her work with youth, and continues to be actively involved in international education and recruitment.
Director Client Relations & Partnerships (Africa)
Duarte Dias was born in Macau, China to parents of Portuguese and Brazilian descent. From a very young age, he had the chance to interact with people from various cultures throughout Asia which sparked his sense of curiosity towards others and fed his desire to help those less fortunate. As a result, he pursed his Bachelor of International Relations with a Specialization in Human Rights and Democracy at Coimbra University (Portugal), an MSc in Organizational Communication at Universidad Complutense in Madrid, and various diplomas in International Humanitarian Law from the UN Peace Operations Training Institute in Switzerland. After graduation, Duarte became involved in numerous projects with international and local NGOs across Africa, India and Thailand. In 2015, Duarte entered the education industry where he represented several reputable institutions and presented to students across Africa, Latin America, India and Southeast Asia. In so doing, he helped hundreds of students access high-quality international education. In his spare time, Duarte enjoys travelling, photography, and water sports. He takes great pride in being able to change people's lives through education.
Associate Director Partnerships and Client relations
An MBA in Marketing with over 18+ years of experience in the industry with a diverse background starting from serving in the service Industry-leading to Business Development. I’ve been a part of this amazing fraternity of International Education for the past 12 years & have loved every bit of it. Being associated with this industry has made me learn so much about International Education & how important it is for a student to get the right career guidance as per their capability. It is so satisfying to see the students you guided during your career have attained what they aspired as an international student. I’ve been fortunate to work with the Best in Europe & the UK universities. Ecstatic to begin a new journey with a lot more to learn! Some of my personal interests are Traveling, listening to music & playing badminton!
Associate Director Client Relations & Partnerships (Latin America)
Based in São Paulo, Brazil, Mariana has dedicated the last eight years of her career to assisting students across Latin America achieve their dreams of studying abroad. With her degree in marketing and vast professional experience, she works with all stakeholders to diversity the population of Latin American students in institutions across the globe. Having been an international student herself – with more than 12 years spent living abroad – her aim is to connect students with the right institutions and contribute to their long-term personal and professional growth.
Manager, Finance and Administration
Originally from Japan, Sai Henniger has spent the last 20 years living in North America. She has over 15 years experience in international education and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Canada. Having worked in both the private and public sectors of international education, she brings a wide array of knowledge and skills instrumental to global operations. Her areas of expertise are finance and administration, and in these roles, she provides comprehensive support to the organization. Sai looks forward to collaborating with the Illume team on exciting new projects that will benefit the international student community. She also relishes the opportunity to contribute to the success of Illume's institutional partnerships.
Manager, Recruitment and Student placement
Seetha Dronamraju has been working as Manager, Recruitment and Student Placement at Illume Student Advisory Services Ltd. since March 2018. She is currently based in Hyderabad, India and is a graduate of Madras University where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Before her work as a recruiter for Canadian institutions, she owned and operated her own company in Allahabad, India where she handled after-sales hardware and software support for Wipro Computers. She gets a great sense of fulfillment from counselling students and helping them reach their dreams of higher education in Canada. Seetha is an avid enthusiast of sci-fi books, movies and TV shows. She also loves music and making new acquaintances.
Meenakshi (Michelle) Joshi
Meenakshi (Michelle) Joshi is originally from India and now lives and works in Ontario, Canada. Michelle obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from Delhi University (India), a Master of Mass Communication from Guru Jambheshwar University (India) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from Mohawk College (Canada). Michelle has worked in international student recruitment for over ten years and is an active human resource professional. She brings with her an extensive knowledge of many different cultures, most pertinently those of India and China. Michelle is a continuous learner who loves exploring web design, creating blogs and using social media tools. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Nalini Kidambi is a Recruitment Specialist based in Hyderabad, India. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Bangalore University, and a Diploma in Commercial Practice from GR Institute of Commercial Practice, Bangalore. Nalini comes to us with several years of corporate experience where she worked in marketing and customer support. She also brings an all-important parent's perspective having helped her two children gain admission to top-tier universities in Canada and the USA. She has received several notes of appreciation from parents and students for her diligent mentoring and guidance and is recognized by her colleagues for the quality of support she provides. Aside from her work in international education, Nalini and her family run a non-profit initiative for children with type 1 diabetes in India of which she is a Trustee. In her free time, Nalini loves to travel and explore. She also enjoys gardening, cooking and jewelry designing.
Imran Ghayas was born and raised in New Delhi, India where he continues to live and work. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi where he specialized in marketing and international business. As a skilled marketing and brand development professional, he has led a successful career in international education by providing exceptional service to students, their families, and institutional partners. His keen sense of intercultural awareness has allowed him to work with students from the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and the Middle East. Imran is a firm believer that strong interpersonal and communication skills are key to establishing trust with the students and giving them the confidence to embark on their journeys abroad. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering with local NGOs and hiking in the wilderness!
Achim Ngonamei is Recruitment Specialist based in Manipur, India, who holds a Bachelor of Sociology from Mithibai College of Arts and Science, Mumbai and a Master of Social Work from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Delhi. She began her work in international recruitment in 2019, and specializes in Canadian study-abroad destinations. Achim is a fast learner who loves to explore and learn about the vast field of international education. In working with students, her goal is to give them the right advice by helping them choose the program that best suits their gifts. Her hobbies include hiking - as she comes from a hilly region of India - and reading. She also enjoys travelling, and spending time with family and friends.
Kajal Ginesh holds a Master of Business Administration from Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu (India) and has been working in the Canadian international education sphere since 2009. Her enthusiasm along with her in-depth understanding of Canadian education systems allow her to successfully navigate the international education space. Throughout her career, she has been sought-after for her knowledge of strategic sales and marketing, her ability to develop relationships with institutions and stakeholders, and her drive to build and maintain connections with agents and students. Kajal takes great pride in her work in the international education field as it presents challenges that allow her to develop her problem solving and decision-making skills, apply new concepts, and showcase her drive and determination. In her spare time, she enjoys recharging by reading books and listening to music.
Samanyu Sharma is a Recruitment Specialist based out of Chandigarh, India. He holds a Bachelor in Commerce from Punjab University, Chandigarh and has been working in the international education industry since 2018. Through his engagements with various institutional partners, stakeholders and students, he has gained a strong knowledge of agent networks, sales, immigration services and student visas. Aside from his work in student recruitment, Samanyu was employed at Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment in Mumbai as Additional/ 4th Assistant Director on the sci-fi motion picture Ra.One (2011); Over the years, he also took part in the production of various commercials. During his time in university, he won various intercollegiate photography and quiz competitions, and he still takes an interest in these activities to this day. Samanyu's pastimes also include reading, contact sports, world cinema, music, and hiking with his dog.
translation and Interpretation Services Officer
Born and raised in Quebec, Canada, Laurent has always been passionate about words and very quickly became fluent in both French and English. His early years were punctuated by various travel experiences. For his post-secondary studies, Laurent has completed credentials in both english and french at college and university. Pursuing a career in Graphic Design, Laurent is currently studying his craft at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Shivang Malik is a Recruitment Specialist based out of Chandigarh, India who began his work in international student recruitment in 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from Uttarakhand Technical University, Dehradun and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from Symbiosis Institute, Pune. Shivang is passionate about the international education field and prides himself on his in-depth knowledge of the Canadian education sector and more specifically, the Illume partner institutions he represents. He is an agent of growth whose energy and communication skills nurture productivity in every area of his work. Shivang loves to spend time close to nature, and enjoys hiking and road trips. He also loves to read and cook.
Parvinder Kaur Malhotra
Mohtashim Khan was born and raised in Udaipur, India where he completed his Bachelor of Technology at Pacific University. He also holds a Certificate Diploma in Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies from Howard University, Washington, D.C. Mohtashim has always had a keen interest in international student recruitment and, as a result, has worked for several recruitment organizations over the past decade. His in-depth understanding of students' needs and interests along with his strong relationships with institutional partners have allowed him to excel is his role as Recruitment Specialist. In his spare time, he loves travelling, riding his motorcycle, and playing sports.
Nipun Grover is a Recruitment Specialist based in Punjab, India. He holds a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from Chandigarh University, Mohali and a Master of Business Administration with a Major in Marketing from IBS, Hyderabad. He began his work in international education in February 2020, and has a strong knowledge of the education landscape in both Canada and the United States of America. He is a lifelong learner and a keen observer who is determined to achieve great heights in the industry. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family.
Grishma Ambani was born and raised in Nagpur, Maharashtra and is currently based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat She is a Recruitment Specialist who started her career in international education in 2015. Grishma holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from Topper University and a Master of Statistics from Nagpur University. Prior to her work in the international education field, she worked as a teacher which gave her a deeper understanding of how to relate to students and understand their needs. Grishma is multilingual with a strong grasp of Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi and English, and has lived in various cities throughout India, most notably Nagpur, Ahmedavad and Ludhiana. Her background has informed her knowledge of the regional and linguistic differences that are key to understanding the international student recruitment market in her geographic area. Ghrisma is an avid traveller who enjoys road trips, biking and local cuisines.
Edel Quinn Okubo
In-country Representative, Trent University (East Africa)
Having experience in customer care, real estate, and the education sector in East Africa taught me that striving for customers’ satisfaction is the key to success. A happy client is a happy me. I am a graduate of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa. I love meeting and interacting with different people, learning a thing or two. During my free time, I visit the sick or underprivileged to spend some time with them/help out.
Joyce Nyokabi Njihia
In-country Representative, Mohawk College (East Africa)
My name is Joyce Nyokabi. Born and raised in Kenya. I studied Tours and Travel and worked in the tourism industry for some time, only to realize that my passion was elsewhere. So I’ve finally settled in International recruitment, which satisfies me to help people find the best college where they can realize their dreams and pursue them. During my free time, I visit children’s homes and spend some time with them.
In Country Representative ( Hong Kong), MIIT
Cania Cheung was born and raised in Hong Kong, China where he continues to live and work. He obtained a Diploma in Sociology from Shue Yan College and a Bachelor of Electronic Commerce from the Open University of Hong Kong. Cania has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience in the media and advertising, e-commerce, stock trading and insurance industries. He became involved in the education sector through his employment in digital media development for various departments of regional universities as well as consulates in Hong Kong. He looks forward to applying his knowledge of digital media to his work in the international education sphere. As a volunteer, Cania enjoys tutoring students from low-income communities. He is a good listener and loves to help students address their learning challenges. Aside from his professional duties and volunteer commitments, he enjoys hiking, reading and singing.
In-country representative, UFV
Imelda is a skilled leader with a distinguished career spanning nearly a decade. Her diversified skillset has allowed her to excel in many areas of the international recruitment field including marketing, counselling, business development and management. Imelda builds and maintains solid working relationships through effective communication and strong interpersonal skills. She also facilitates growth by building cohesive teams and developing various area of an organization. In addition, she collaborates effectively with students and their families to align defined objectives and achieve results. Imelda is friendly and forward-thinking, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with East African students. As an alumna of Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya—formerly University of Indore, India—she is also a product of international education and therefore, can relate to student looking to embark on a similar journey.
Caroline Abigael Okoth
In-country representative, AUC and Georgian ILac
With over 18 years experience in the field of international recruitment, Caroline Abigael Okoth has helped countless students achieve their study abroad dreams and consequently, reach their career goals. As a lifelong learner, Caroline loves the challenging environment of international recruitment and works tirelessly to better her own skillset as she believes there is no end to education. Every day presents a new opportunity to learn!
In-country representative, Wilfrid Laurier University
Martin holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Nairobi and has vast experience in the international education sector. With over seven years experience as a recruitment agent, he acquired important knowledge of the field and was able to apply his many qualities, notably his attention to detail, excellent customer service, strong administrative skillset, and marketing abilities. Martin has taken extensive visa training where he gained an understanding of the end-to-end process of acquiring a student visa – a vital document for international students. Martin takes great joy in seeing the students he has guided excel on their educational path and in their chosen professions.
Elline Jane Manalo
Elline Manalo is a recruitment specialist based out of Tagaytay City, Philippines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Cavite State University and was a member of their student-led publication. After completing her degree, Elline accepted an internship with the Knowledge Channel, a non-profit organization that promotes free, quality education for Filipino students. Her career path also includes teaching experience in journalism and languages. In her current role, Elline supports Southeast Asian students who aspire to study in a quality, career-focused and reputable international institution - in countries such as Canada. Her knowledge of teaching and of the international recruitment field has allowed many students to make their study-abroad dreams a reality. Elline believes education is an end to generational poverty and this is at the core of her work in international education.
Md Humayun Kabir
In Country Representative (Bangladesh), NIC
Humayun Kabir was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He obtained his master's in Social Sciences Master of Social Science (MSS) from Jagannath University. After working in corporate sales and education research with Practical Academic on Wise Education Research (PAOWER FOUNDATION); he chose to become a recruitment specialist and help students from the region achieve their dreams of studying abroad. His background in education and four years of experience working in the international education industry has given him a better understanding of the students' needs. He believes each student has a unique path and wants to ensure they are enrolled in a program that allows them to accomplish their long-term career goals. In helping them with these important life decisions, he ensures that the student's concerns are addressed and that their future educational path is aligned with their personal and academic profile. Humayun is a lifelong learner who works diligently to expand his skill set and provide high-quality personable service to the students and families he serves.
Neeraj Malik has over 3 years of experience in the education industry and is currently completing an MBA in Marketing at Sikkim Manipal University. His other work experience includes positions in IT and aviation. He first began working with students by sharing his knowledge of website development which evolved into a new career in international education. As a creative thinker and innovator, he looks to bring new strategies to the education industry. His planning, communication and marketing skills are also an asset as he organizes events for institutions and presents programs to prospective students. His personal interests include travel and culture as well as volunteering at animal shelters.
Maria Fernanda (Fer)
Recruitment Specialist, Northern College (Latin America)
Maria Fernanda (Fer) was born and raised in Mexico City where she continues to live and work. She holds a degree in International Trade Relationships from the Universidad Intercontinental, Mexico City and a degree in Business Administration from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. As a former international student herself, she understands the value of studying abroad and how it can help students reach their career aspirations. As an entrepreneur and presenter who is passionate about ethical and eco-conscious business practices, she found a community while studying in Canada that still serves as an important business network to this day. As she embarks on a new career in international student recruitment, she wants to convey what she has learned through her study-abroad experience. She credits international education with helping her develop resiliency, tenacity and intercultural awareness not to mention helping her form vital personal and professional relationships. Fer wants students to strive for greatness and continuous self-betterment as they help create the world of tomorrow.
KWAME OTUAPEM ODAME
In-Country Representative, Trent University
Kwame Odame is an international education professional with over seven years experience in the industry. He holds a degree in General Psychology from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. His academic experience helps guide and shape his approach as he works with students and families. He knows education is a significant investment and as such, aims to help students make informed choices about their educational paths. In his time away from work, he enjoys reading, travelling and listening to music.
In-Country Representative, Columbia college
Zaein Rattansi is recruitment specialist based out of Nairobi, Kenya. Zaein holds a Diploma in Management from the KIM School of Management, in Nairobi, and has been working in the international education sector since 2017. As a former representative of one of Africa's leading recruitment companies, she has a strong knowledge of the Sub-Saharan market and a keen understanding of students' needs and interests. It is her belief that international education makes students global citizens with a greater understanding of diversity and an openness to new cultures that serves them in both their personal and professional lives. In her spare time, she enjoys philanthropic pursuits, listening to music and leisure travel.
Based out of Kolkata, India, Somrita Saha is a recruitment specialist with over 5 years experience in international education. She holds a Bachelor of English Literature and Letters from the University of Calcutta and an MBA in Human Resource Development from the same institution. Somrita started her career teaching English as a second language to students across the globe and transitioned into student recruitment focusing on institutions in Canada and Australia. She is a polymath with diverse interests and enjoys reading about medicine, physical sciences, environmental sustainability and philosophy. She speaks five languages including Spanish and German.
In-Country Representative, Douglas College, (West Africa)
Aminat Liasu was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from nearby Fountain University in Osogbo, Nigeria. In 2018, she started her career in international student recruitment and has successfully placed over 90 students in their dream universities and colleges. Having worked with students from various walks of life, Aminat has found a great sense of fulfillment in guiding students towards an educational path that suits their career objectives and as well as their budget. With her intimate knowledge of the recruitment process, she has an impressive track record of successful student admissions. The joy she gets from a successful visa application continues to be a strong motivating factor in her work.
Grace Uchech Nwachukwu
In-Country representative, Alexander College
Uchechi Grace Nwachukwu is a trained educational counsellor with over a decade of experience in student recruitment. She holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics and Extension at Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu State, Nigeria. In forging her career path, she employs primarily the extension portion of her degree which involves reaching out to contacts with up-to-date information about the industry and communicating its best practices. As an expert in marketing and educational counselling, Uchechi provides global education solutions to students and institutional partners and ensures that every student, parent or school community she works with is satisfied with the level of service they receive. In the last decade, she has attended training sessions both locally and internationally which have kept her up to date on the latest developments in the international education industry. Outside of work, Uchechi enjoys a good soap opera and has a passion for travel!
In-Country representative, Keyano College
Iram holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Finance from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Having started her career in management consulting, Iram has a comprehensive background in stakeholder engagement, research, and presentation skills. Her diverse international education—that has seen her traverse three countries—as well as her passion for education, make Iram fully equipped to excel in international recruitment. Seeing young entrepreneurs pursue educational opportunities abroad for the eventual betterment of East Africa has strengthened her resolve to guide students who are undertaking these journeys. In her free time, you can find Iram at the gym! She also loves to seek out new adventures through travelling, hiking and being outdoors.