“What’s Next in Your Career?” MBA/JD Lunch with James O’Sullivan, 2018 Hennick Medal for Career Achievement Recipient, Mickey Cohen & Ed Waitzer
On January 15, 2020, MBA/JD students were invited to a special fireside chat at the Schulich School of Business’ Private Dining Room. The event featured James O’Sullivan (MBA/LLB ’90), Strategic Advisor, Former Group Head of Canadian Banking, Scotiabank; 2018 Hennick Medal for Career Achievement Recipient and Marshall Cohen O.C. (LLB ’60, LLM ’63, Hon LLD ’86) Executive-in-Residence, Hennick Centre for Business and Law; Retired Counsel, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP. The conversation was moderated by Ed Waitzer, Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance; Director, Hennick Centre for Business and Law; Faculty Co-Director JD/MBA Program. These accomplished alumni candidly shared advice with students in the joint degree program on how to navigate career opportunities and to develop skills needed to succeed.
During the chat, the speakers emphasized the importance of engaging in activities that interest you outside of work in order to diversify your resume and get the competitive edge that will help you stand out in your field. Actively seeking out new learning opportunities can facilitate building new relationships and leveraging different connections. For example, volunteering at public interest organizations or serving on a board (or creating your own) may cultivate unique intersections between your career, personal interests, and open the door to new opportunities.
Similarly, the speakers suggested to keep an open mind to “non-conventional” opportunities and take a holistic approach to career development. When building a career, young professionals should think of their career as an “adventure” and not be afraid to include private sector, public sector and non-profit experiences. These types of opportunities allow young professionals to gain unique experiences and perspectives that are valuable to one’s career growth in the years ahead.
Finally, each of the speakers agreed that no matter what path one will ultimately choose, emotional intelligence, common sense and work ethic are all integral roads to success.