Current Role: CEO, Corporate Finance Institute
What was your first job after graduation?
After graduating from the Sauder MBA program I worked in the Strategy and Corporate Development group at Goldcorp Inc.
What would you tell your graduating self?
There’s no way to predict where your career will take you. Just focus on learning in the moment, make as many connections as possible, and capitalize on good opportunities when they present themselves. It’s okay to make a plan for the future, but just know that it will almost certainly play out differently. Stay in touch with your UBC classmates as many of them will be doing really interesting things.
What was the most important connection you made?
Thanks to the Sauder MBA program I made a lot of great connections. One of those connections came from running the Natural Resources club, which led to my job at Goldcorp in the Strategy and Corporate Development group after graduation. Another connection that stands out was made during UBC’s Capital Markets Training Program (CMTP), where I met my current business partner. He was the instructor running CMTP and about three years later we started http://www.corporatefinanceinstitute.com together.
How do you make the best of all situations?
Every situation is a learning opportunity. Sometimes the “worst” situations actually provide the best opportunities, if you’re open to discovering them. It’s only natural to avoid pain in your life – but if pain leads to learning (which it does) then those bad situations can be the most important lessons in your life. It’s easier said than done, but I try to remember that.
What is your best memory from your time at UBC?
My best memory was working on a group project (referred to as “P2”) with three classmates that are still my very close friends. We had to develop a business idea, and ours was an umbrella sharing service called “Brella2Go”. The idea was to place vending machines around the city where umbrellas could be grabbed and returned. The highlight was creating a promotional video, where I played the part of the vending machine.
If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
The first thing I would do is buy as much Vancouver real estate as possible with as little money down as the banks would let me. Other than that I wouldn’t really change any choices I made in my career, since everything I did along the path helped me in some way. I would, however, try to be more patient and loosen my grip a bit. Life is more enjoyable that way, and it actually enhances your career performance.