Students Listen, Industry Talks

Last week marked the fifth episode of Industry Talks, IBA’s live business interview series. For those that don’t know about the biweekly Instagram Live-held series, it is a great way to learn about building a career in business, and also to engage with the diverse range of professionals featured on the series through the open Q&A sessions held at the end of each episode. With episodes discussing building your network and excelling at the recruitment process; having a smooth transition from campus life to work life; and insightful conversations with professionals about their experiences in various sectors such as Real Estate and Wealth Management, Industry Talks is your one-stop shop for engaging with your interests in business.

“Networking should be fun – if it isn’t, you’re networking with the wrong people"

Rotman Commerce alumni Susanne Fuda talked about her career journey from finishing her Accounting specialist while interning in External Audit, to discovering where her interests lie and settling into her current role as Campus Recruitment Manager at Scotiabank. Susanne started by talking about the importance of seeking out mentors, referring to personal experience with a mentor who helped her explore her interests and shape her career accordingly, eventually even offering her a job. When talking about what distinguishes students during the recruitment process, Susanne mentioned the importance of networking. In a space where many applicants are applying with competitive credentials, networking allows you to distinguish yourself by showcasing your personality. Discussing other things like the right attitude to have for successful networking, building and maintaining a network, and common networking mistakes, episode 2 of Industry Talks provided many insights on the recruitment process and how to excel at it.

Having successfully gone through his recruitment process, Kevin Warner discussed his transition from graduating as the president of the Undergraduate Commerce Society of UTM in 2018, to his current role as a Staff Accountant at KPMG. While discussing his transition from campus life to work life, Kevin talked about skills to develop during your time as a student that will transfer over to professional life, and what to get involved in to do so. Kevin’s tips for professional development included getting involved in a passion project, doing something for your own personal interest that you can take pride in; starting as early as possible with recruiting, getting LinkedIn profiles set up and being on the lookout for opportunities; and keeping a positive mindset, facing any challenges with a good attitude and remaining vigilant in the pursuit of your goals. Offering general office insights and discussing other similarities between campus life and work life, episode 4 is available for viewing on IBA’s Instragram @utmiba, alongside the rest of the Industry Talks episodes.

“Doesn't matter what you do in life. If you have the passion for it – you're good.”

While insights from recent graduates can be very helpful, Industry Talks also features seasoned professionals. With nearly 20 years of experience in Real Estate, Gonzolo Diaz offers much wisdom about how careers and plans evolve, as he discusses his transition from being a Civil Engineer in South America, to joining a construction company as a foreman after immigrating to Canada, to finally settling into his current career as a real estate agent after discovering his interest and realizing his applicable experience for the field. With further discussion revolving around Real Estate trends, and the resiliency of the industry despite the pandemic; how to get involved with Real Estate and tools to do so; as well as how to learn more about the industry, episode 3 of Industry Talks will hold great interest for anyone interested in learning about any aspect of Real Estate.

Last week’s episode had Paula Diaz sharing some of the knowledge that she possesses as the Branch Manager and a Financial Advisor of Assante Wealth Management. She talked about her personal experience in discovering her interests starting as a Marketing Assistant to becoming a Financial Advisor. Beginning by mentioning the benefits of acquiring a designation in your area of interest, Paula explains that such an achievement holds value beyond just the knowledge acquired, but rather how the experience also shapes you as a professional, and helps you develop your work ethic. The rest of the episode dives deeply into the world of finance, discussing the role of a Financial Advisor, platforms to learn more about investing, and how students can begin going about managing their personal finance.

Industry Talks holds a lot of information for business students and other aspiring professionals alike. Be sure to tune in biweekly on Tuesdays at 6pm (EST) @utmiba on Instagram for more valuable learning opportunities.