David Tiejde

David Tiedje used to be an engineer working in the construction industry. Thanks to the UBC MBA program, he now has a fast-track career in international finance.

As part of this extraordinary transformation, David used the skills and experience he gained at Sauder to get accepted into the wealth management generalist program at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). It was quite an achievement given that only a handful of people are chosen each year out of more than a thousand applicants.

Even so, as a born-and-raised Vancouverite, David decided to turn down the offer and stay in his home town, where he was able to use his RBC connections to land an alternative role in the world of international finance.

Phillips, Hager & North (PH&N) is an investment firm that is owned by RBC and they quickly hired David as a generalist in their finance department, before promoting him to the position of Associate Analyst working on domestic and global equities. He also works for the bond desk on risk modeling and performance attribution of global debt products.

Choosing a career path

“Even now I’m using a lot of what I have learned on the MBA program in my work,” says David. “One of my finance professors Murray Carlson had a class about empirical finance that is still highly relevant. I use the techniques he taught us with excel modelling each and every day so I’ve found the program to be very useful in the real world.”

David’s next big decision will be choosing between two main career paths in finance: fund management, which involves making decisions about what to buy and sell, or a more client-facing role with pension funds and large institutional investors. He has some time still to decide which one is right for him, but says that he’s in a good place now because he has exposure to both.

Whatever he decides, David is clear that the UBC MBA program and the finance track in particular, played a big part in getting him where he is today.

Closing the deal

“It’s an extremely valuable program and it got me exactly what I wanted,” he says. “I’ve done a complete career switch from engineering construction to finance and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without Sauder.”

“I think it worked out for me because I worked hard and took full advantage of the opportunities that the program put in front of me,” he adds. “It’s not a magic bullet by any means, but if you combine the networking opportunities with the program learning and the career development on offer then you can get your foot in the door. After that, it’s up to you to close the deal.”

Why not find out more about how you too can transform your future with the UBC MBA program?
It could be the best career decision you ever make.


Name: David Tiedje
Associate Analyst, Phillips, Hager & North
Graduating year:
UBC MBA 2013
Canadian (Vancouver)