Career success | Meet David
Sauder's Master of Management program aims to fast-track the business careers of its students. For David Singh, it began a trajectory that has not only catapulted him from Vancouver to Toronto, but also from Deloitte consultant to business book author to tech company VP in just a few short years.
UBC degree: MM 2009
Current job: VP Strategy and Operations, Kira Talent
One of my favourite quotes is "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."
Strategic career planning
Even before I began the Master of Management Program (MM), I knew I wanted to start my career in management consulting. Sauder's Business Career Centre and the MM Career Coach provided me with some great resources and helped to introduce me to alumni in the field. Ultimately, I knew it was up to me to get the career I wanted.
Knowing that most of the top consulting firms have their Canadian head offices in Toronto, I focused my efforts on targeting 50 different Toronto firms. I spent almost every weekend during the MM program flying back and forth from Vancouver to Toronto to interview and meet with various company representatives. In the end I accepted a position with Deloitte Consulting and spent three years working in their Toronto head office.
One of my favourite quotes is “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” by Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur and motivational speaker. I take this to heart and make networking a key priority and part of my everyday life. Living in Toronto has allowed me to meet a wide range of business professionals. When I was at Deloitte I would have early morning breakfast meetings three to five times a week. I also joined networking groups and got involved with charity boards, which gave me the opportunity to meet some inspiring individuals, including CEOs from top Fortune 500 companies. These connections have made a huge impact on my career.
My networking began well before my Masters. As I took my first few steps into my career I realized my peers all had similar early career challenges. After hundreds of conversations with Gen-Y young professionals I co-authored Hitting Stryde: A Gen-Y early career survival guide. Hitting Stryde turned out to be a great way to help my peers and connect with C-level executives on their talent agendas.
After three great years in consulting at Deloitte, I opted to leave to take on the role of VP of Strategy and Operations at Kira Talent, which is an online video interview screening platform. It’s a fantastic opportunity and one that allows me to play a strategic and tactical role in everything from finance and HR to marketing and operations. Life at a start-up is a total roller-coaster with an enormous amount of personal and professional development.
Advice to students
- Spend one hour per day focusing on your career
- Career searching is a numbers game, so talk to as many people as you can
- Only take advice from people who have what you want