In May, more than 800 students graduated from UBC’s Sauder School of Business. A number of these grads have set their sights on Toronto to launch their careers and it’s not hard to see why.
Toronto is Canada’s business and financial capital. Home to over 400 company headquarters, eight Fortune 500 companies and the nation’s five largest banks (the Big Five), it is an appealing destination for career-driven business grads. It’s also a great place to live. Consistently ranked at the top of global surveys, Toronto is one of the safest, cleanest and greenest cities in the world with a lower cost of living (4.5 – 12 per cent lower) than Vancouver.
In recent years over 1,000 Sauder grads have made the move to Toronto. We recently spoke to three Sauder alumni, David Singh (MM-ECM, 2009), Alice Chacon (MBA, 2010), and Peter Yang (BCom, 2012) about why they moved to Toronto and how it has impacted their careers.
Even before he began the Master of Management - Early Career Masters program, David Singh set his sights on a career in Toronto. Aspiring to work for a top consulting firm, David saw the opportunity for development and growth within the many Toronto-based Canadian head offices of big consulting firms.
“I knew right away that I wanted to go into management consulting,” said David. “I also knew that the opportunities in this area were mostly in Toronto – the majority of decisions are made in Toronto head offices, not on the west coast.” With this in mind David focused all his efforts on targeting 50 different Toronto firms. His determination paid off and after 20 interviews and multiple job offers, David accepted a position with Deloitte Consulting.
Toronto not only offered David opportunities for growth within the consulting industry, but it also gave him access to a vast network of diverse professionals. “The opportunity to network with CEOs from top Fortune 500 companies catapulted my career, helping me build my network and get invaluable advice from seasoned leaders” said David. Outside of work David co-authored Hitting Stryde: a Gen-Y Early Career Survival Guide, has served on seven not-for-profit boards, and is currently VP of Strategy and Operations at Kira Talent, an award winning online video interview screening platform named one of Canada’s hottest start-ups.
For Alice Chacon, a UBC MBA student from Venezuela, tapping into the North American job market was key. “When I arrived at Sauder all I knew was that North America was where I wanted to launch my career,” said Alice. “With help from faculty and Business Career Centre staff, I quickly realized that Toronto was going to be the place for me.” As a marketing student, Alice saw limited opportunities in Vancouver. To explore the opportunities in Ontario she completed a 3-month summer internship placement at RIM (now Blackberry) in Waterloo.
“I remember leaving the Toronto airport and being amazed by the number of skyscrapers sporting global company logos – I knew I had come to the right place and I’ve never looked back.”
Upon graduation from the MBA Program Alice took up the role of Senior Marketing Analyst, Card Marketing, for American Express and has since moved on to work as Marketing Manager in CIBC’s Loyalty Rewards team. Alice is also the President of the Sauder Business Club of Torontowhere she helps the club’s growing membership to connect with other alumni in the area.
A recent addition to the Toronto Business Club is Peter Yang, BCom 2012 (Accounting & International Business), who currently works as a Business Analyst for Deloitte's Corporate Strategy practice (now Monitor Deloitte).A Vancouver native, Peter says “If you are career driven in Canada, Toronto is where you want to be.”
"Toronto has exceeded my expectations in every respect. The city is a fun place to live and, from a career perspective, offers a lot of opportunities for young professionals."
Like David, Alice and Peter, the career choices of this year’s grads will be based on their unique personal and professional goals. And, wherever their careers take them, Sauder’s Alumni Career Services will be there to support them all the way.