It wasn’t the theory of business that drew Jay Singh to study it: it was the practice.
After his first year at UBC, where he studied in the Faculty of Arts, Jay spent his summer running and managing a branch of College Pro Painters where he was responsible for everything from finding sales leads to hiring staff to mentoring his team.
“That experience gave me a foundation in business that I am so grateful for,” Jay says. “It made me realize I wanted to study business, and specifically entrepreneurship, at UBC Sauder.”
So Jay, who was born and raised in the Bay Area and moved to the Vancouver area when he as 11, focused on getting the prerequisites and the grades to get into the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) program, which, when he was entering third year, he did.
Professors turned mentors
At UBC Sauder, Jay delved deep into entrepreneurship through courses like Economics of Entrepreneurship and New Venture Design.
“It taught me how to build a startup through a lean methodology,” he says. “And it’s given me a better understanding of how entrepreneurs are changing the economy.”
Jay was a teaching assistant for several semesters and built strong relationships with his professors. One of whom was Paul Cubbon, who remains a mentor to this day.
“I remember reaching out to him because I had an inclination to go into sales but I wasn’t quite sure,” Jay says. “Professor Cubbon told me ‘When I’m working with startups, after hiring a CTO, I hire a head of sales or a head of development. So yes, I think that you should go into it.’
With Professor Cubbon’s blessing and the support of UBC Sauder’s Hari B. Varshney’s Business Career Centre, Jay looked for internships in sales during his last summer at UBC Sauder.
My experiences through my UBC Sauder degree gave me the confidence to excel in this role.
A gratifying experience
When he graduated, Jay landed a coveted role at LinkedIn, which brought him back to his childhood hometown in the Bay Area.
“At LinkedIn, I’ve tried to put on an entrepreneurial hat,” Jay says. “I try to connect people and even start projects inside the company.”
Jay has found this kind of intrapreneurship gratifying.
“Being able to build something of your own with your own blood, sweat and tears and seeing it actually be successful — it’s quite a rewarding experience,” he says.
As part of LinkedIn’s Business Leadership program, Jay will spend several months rotating through different areas in the company. Currently he is recruiting for data scientists, sharing his passion for the company with prospective employees.
“My experiences through my UBC Sauder degree gave me the confidence to excel in this role.”