Tim Vipond knew that switching from finance to mining would not be easy. But a UBC MBA from the Sauder School of Business helped him to make this transition a reality.
Tim worked for two years in investment banking at CIBC World Markets followed by three years of investment management at ScotiaMcLeod. But when the finance industry began to struggle in 2008, he began to think about taking a new direction. With an undergraduate degree in arts and sociology, he had well-defined goals when it came to his career. At the top of his list was getting an internationally recognized business qualification.
“I had considered other postgraduate finance courses but there is nothing comparable to the UBC MBA in terms of the breadth of skills and abilities that it helps you to develop,” he says. “If I wanted to be eligible for a wider range of jobs I could see the MBA program at the Sauder School of Business was the best option for me.”
Foot in the door
Once enrolled in the program, Tim quickly took steps to create a network within the mining sector. As co-president of the Natural Resources Club, one of the groups under the umbrella of the MBA Society Tim invited companies including industry giants like Teck Resources and Goldcorp to speak at Sauder.
“If you haven’t returned to education, it can be very hard to build a productive network and change careers,” Tim explains. “But as soon as I told people in the business community I was doing an MBA at Sauder and I wanted to transition into the mining sector, I had a great response. They were very happy to help me get my foot in the door.”
The professors and support staff at Sauder also played a vital role in Tim’s career re-orientation. He singles out the Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre (BCC) for particular praise.
“One of the biggest benefits of being in the UBC MBA program is having all the connections that the BCC can provide for you,” says Tim. “Their leadership mentoring program paired me up with a UBC MBA graduate at Barrick Gold Corporation. He gave me invaluable insight into the mining industry on the West Coast.”
Tim has already gained real-world experience with internships at both Teck Resources and Goldcorp and has built the network that will support him in his new career. He’s clear that it was the UBC MBA and the contacts he made at Sauder which allowed him to do it.
Today: Vice-President, Corporate Finance for Shoes.com
Today, Tim is is the Vice-President, Corporate Finance, for fast-growing Shoes.com, where he was recognized by Business in Vancouver as one of the city's Top 40 Under 40 in 2015 for his work, including the acquisition of Shoeme.ca and OnlineShoes.com. He also runs the Corporate Finance Institute, providing practical training on financial modelling and applications of finance for any professional.
If you’re looking to make a similar transition find out how a UBC MBA can help.