In this episode of the EdUp Canada podcast, host Michael Sangster engages with Chamara Perera, COO of Opulence Education Group, and other guests to explore the transformative power of career education. The discussion highlights the importance of student success, the role of educators in nurturing leaders, and how personalized training and skills development lead to gainful employment. Featuring insights from various educational leaders, the conversation also covers the operational aspects of educational institutions, the significance of student services, the transition to online learning during COVID, and the vital partnerships with employers for practicums. Additionally, the episode touches on the upcoming career fair at the Royal York Hotel, aimed at connecting students with potential employers, and concludes with personal reflections on mentorship and the value of hands-on training in achieving career success. 

Read the full transcript here⁠


  • 00:00 Welcome to the EdUp Canada Podcast: Unpacking Career Success 
  • 00:45 The Heart of Education: Prioritizing Student Success 
  • 01:28 Spotlight on Opulence Education Group: A Conversation with Chamara Perera 
  • 02:56 Expanding Horizons: The Growth and Impact of Opulence Education Group 
  • 03:58 Student-Centric Approach: Adapting to Diverse Learning Styles 
  • 08:33 The Admissions Process: A Gateway to Student Transformation 
  • 10:32 Student Services: Ensuring a Supportive Academic Journey 
  • 13:23 Embracing Online Learning: Adapting to New Challenges 
  • 16:43 Career Services and Employer Partnerships: Bridging Education to Employment 
  • 22:47 Closing Thoughts and Mentorship Insights 
  • 31:57 Wrapping Up: The Impact of Career Colleges on Success


Annie Amenshewa – Regional Director 

Annie is an esteemed professional in the Education sector, with an impressive 15-year career marked by her dedication and expertise. Armed with a Bachelor of Health Studies with Specialized Honors in Health Management, she has honed her skills in Student Financial Aid, Compliance, and Education Management to a remarkable degree. Renowned for her unwavering commitment to student success, Annie embodies an encouraging and supportive approach that inspires and empowers learners. Her exceptional leadership shines brightly as she guides her team with effectiveness, fostering a collaborative and thriving environment where everyone can flourish. With her wealth of knowledge and proven track record, Annie continues to make significant contributions to the field, leaving a lasting impact on those she serves. 

Inoka De Silva – Director, Career Services 

Inoka stands as a stalwart in the realm of Human Resources, Recruitment, and Business Consulting, boasting an extensive career spanning over 15 years. In addition, with over a decade-long immersion in the Private Career College Sector in Canada, she brings a profound understanding of Career Services, enriched by her wealth of experience. Inoka’s commitment to guiding students toward becoming job-ready graduates is palpable. Her passion for Career Services is evident in the numerous success stories she’s helped script. Through her dedication, she has cultivated a plethora of partnerships with employers in the community, fostering mutually beneficial relationships. 

Her academic foundation is equally impressive, holding a Master of Science Degree in Statistics and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from the esteemed University of Houston, Clear Lake, Texas, USA. With her blend of experience and education, Inoka continues to be a driving force in shaping successful career trajectories for countless individuals. 

Chamara Perera – Chief Operating Officer 

Chamara Perera boasts an illustrious career spanning two decades within the realm of post-secondary education, marked by dynamic collaborations with esteemed American and Canadian universities and colleges. Possessing a wealth of experience, Chamara has honed his expertise in project coordination and management, navigating the intricate landscape of policies, procedures, and processes to adeptly support both external stakeholders and internal constituents. A cornerstone of Chamara’s professional ethos lies in his unwavering commitment to student and staff support, deriving immense satisfaction from guiding and assisting individuals towards their academic and professional goals. His penchant for teamwork is evident in his adeptness at fostering collaborative environments, where collective synergy propels initiatives towards success. One of Chamara’s standout proficiencies resides in his comprehensive understanding and mastery of Learning Management Systems (LMS), which serve as the backbone of modern educational ecosystems. His adeptness in ensuring compliance with regulatory frameworks underscores his dedication to upholding the highest standards of educational integrity. Chamara’s academic credentials from American institutions speak volumes about his dedication to continuous learning and professional growth. Armed with an Associate of Science Degree in Business, a bachelor’s degree in business management, and an MBA in Human Resource Management, Chamara combines theoretical knowledge with practical acumen, positioning himself as a dynamic leader and catalyst for positive change within the educational landscape. 

Russ Jude – VP Admissions, Eastern Canada 

Russell is a seasoned professional with more than a decade of dedicated service in the dynamic realm of Education Recruitment. His passion for empowering students to transform their lives and careers is palpable in every interaction. With a track record of guiding over 2,500 individuals towards their dream jobs and careers, Russell’s impact is both profound and far-reaching. At the core of Russell’s success is his boundless energy, coupled with a steadfast commitment to professionalism. He approaches his work with an unwavering dedication, always striving to exceed expectations. Russell’s ability to forge meaningful connections with his students sets him apart, fostering an environment of trust and collaboration. 

Russell’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Diploma in Marketing Management, providing him with a solid foundation to excel in his field. Combined with his innate passion for education and unwavering work ethic, Russell continues to make a lasting impact on the lives of those he serves. 

Bushra Khalid – Director of Student Services 

Bushra Khalid, with over two decades of distinguished service in higher education, brings a wealth of experience to her role as the Director of Student Services at the Academy of Learning Bay/Queen campus. Holding a master’s degree in English Literature, she has consistently demonstrated her commitment to student success and well-being throughout her career. In her capacity as Director of Student Services, Bushra oversees a diverse array of programs and resources tailored to enriching the student experience at AOL Bay/Queen Campus. Her leadership is characterized by a steadfast dedication to cultivating an inclusive and supportive environment, where every student has the opportunity to flourish. 

With a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of education, Bushra Khalid is instrumental in fostering a culture of academic excellence and personal growth at AOL Bay/Queen Campus. Through her unwavering commitment and tireless efforts, she empowers students to realize their full potential and seize the countless opportunities available to them within the AOL community.