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Alumni Bios

 

Meet Successful U of T Alumni

U of T has produced some great consultants over the years. Meet some of the U of T alumni now currently working out in industry. Click each name to read their bio.

Mark is currently the Director of Operations and Service Lines at Hospital for Special Surgery. His past work experience includes being a consultant at Monitor Group’s Toronto office. He joined Monitor in 2003 after receiving his Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto.

What types of work and extracurricular experience have you had prior to consulting?
Mark spent his first couple summers at university working as a research student at the IBBME (Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering) and at Rimon Therapeutics, a small biomedical start-up company. In his summer prior to fourth year, Mark worked at CIBC in their Retail Markets Project Management Office where he had the opportunity to work with senior management to conduct a post implementation review on a strategic initiative as well as assist in implementing benefit measurement and realization procedures for the upcoming fiscal year.

With respect to extracurricular activities, Mark was involved in his residence community as a House Representative and served as VP Internal for the Engineering Society in his fourth year. He also served as organist and music director at St. Paul’s Basilica in Regent Park throughout his time at U of T.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
During his tenure at Monitor, Mark has worked in the U.S. and Canada on corporate strategy, marketing, operations, business development and change management projects in a variety of industries including life science retail, third party logistics, not-for-profit, information services, media, shared services, automotive and chemicals manufacturing.
Over the last two years, Mark has participated in a significant amount of work with Monitor’s operational strategy and organizational design business units. There he had the opportunity to work closely with clients to tackle supply chain issues, organizational restructuring and overhead management. Specific tasks included working closely with senior consultants to develop and advance the research agenda, managing discrete pieces of analysis and supervising junior analysts, working closely with clients to refine the analysis (client interviews and workshops), and presenting final recommendations in the form of an integrated written report and oral presentation.

Other comments and insights
Over the last three years I’ve had the opportunity to work in over 10 different industries, travel to numerous cities across Canada and the U.S. and work with outstanding individuals on complex strategic business issues. If what you’re looking for is a challenge, broad exposure to the world of business, and the opportunity to affect change at the highest level of an organization, then consulting may be the right career for you.

Alison is an Engagement Manager with McKinsey and Company. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science in 2005.

What types of work and extracurricular experiences have you had prior to consulting?I was an elected faculty representative for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering for four years and sat as the student representative for the scholarship committee. For three years, I held executive positions in various organizations such as Engineers Without Borders as VP Finance, UTCA as president and the Engineering Mentorship program at Innis Residence as a coordinator.In terms of work experience, prior to joining McKinsey I spent two summers at Procter and Gamble as an Account Manager intern.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
In the past year alone, I have seen numerous industries, worked with leading corporations as well as public sector and not-for-profit, and travelled around the world. My first study was a public sector healthcare study to help the a government to develop a strategy for saving pharmaceutical costs to reinvest in the healthcare system. This was followed by assisting one of the largest hospitals in the world to develop a transformation program to provide effective healthcare.
Currently I am working with one of the top ten value-creating retail organizations in the world to develop their vision for the future. McKinsey is also passionate about not-for-profit work, and I had the fortune of helping a leading cancer care charity develop a growth strategy to provide more services. My work has taken me as far as London, UK which provided great learning opportunities.

Other comments and insights
In my opinion, consulting provides the best learning experience for anyone just leaving school. You are able to truly see high impact work with high breadth and depth. I can guarantee that you will never be bored! Post-consulting options are also exciting. I know business analysts who have gone on to great business schools, worked for clients or moved into the world of not-for-profit in leading, high impact roles.

Jeremy is currently a Senior Consultant at Capco, having joined it in 2010. Previous to that he was Senior Associate at Sapient’s Toronto office. He joined Sapient in 2005 after receiving his B.A.Sc in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.

What types of work and extracurricular experiences have you had prior to consulting?
Prior to consulting, Jeremy has had work experiences and internships at IT companies that included IBM and CGI. During both the school year and the summers, he started and ran his own Web-development company. At the University of Toronto, he was the Technical Director on CESA (Chinese Engineering Student Association) for 2 years. He was also heavily involved with UTCA and participated in the VCG project working to provide recommendations for the Canadian Cancer Society to improve their Youth Volunteering Program.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
In the first year since joining Sapient, Jeremy has had the opportunity to play many different roles throughout the software lifecycle for a single project. He started with software testing to help the client ensure that the packaged software they bought from a third-party vendor was to their specifications. He then moved to a Business Analyst role where he led client meetings to gather functional requirements and redesign business processes. Currently he is the designated Project Manager for the final phase of the project which includes managing a group of 5 team-members to provide application testing, business process training, documentation, company communications, technical support/helpdesk training and end-of-project audits.

Other comments and insights
Since starting with Sapient, Jeremy has made brief visits to New York, Washington D.C., and Ottawa. The reason he chose to go into consulting was for the broad range of roles that he could play. As you could see from his experiences with Sapient, he went from Software Testing to Project Management in 8 months. Only in the dynamic world of technical consulting would such opportunities become available so quickly.

Matt MacKenzie is a Project Leader in BCG’s Toronto office. He joined BCG as an Associate in October 2004 after receiving his B.A.Sc in Engineering Science, Computer Engineering Option from the University of Toronto. Matt was promoted to Consultant in October 2006.

What types of work and extracurricular experience have you had prior to consulting?
While studying engineering at U of T, Matt worked as a Corporate Accounts officer at TD Bank Financial Group and an ASIC design engineer with ATi Technologies as part of the PEY program. Matt was in charge of communications for the Innis College Student Society (ICSS) over a period of 2 years.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
Matt’s years at BCG have afforded him a broad range of projects in several industries, and to date he has worked in Canada, the US, Italy, Germany, Poland and France. Several notable projects include developing a growth strategy for a full-service brokerage targeting high net work clients; developing a 5-year business strategy for a $6B consumer goods business unit; and leading the pre-merger integration efforts across the operations of a $20B global consumer goods manufacturer.

Other comments and insights
“Consulting offers the opportunity to work with a wide variety of projects in many different industries, all in a short period of time. It is a demanding career, but rewards those who pursue it with the professional growth and career path that are rarely matched in another industry. Career path aside, the reason I chose BCG was for the people, and the reason why I’m still here is for the people–they’re some of the most talented, fun, down to earth individuals you’ll ever meet.”

Jennifer is an associate at BCG’s Toronto office. She joined BCG in 2006 after graduating from the Civil Engineering undergraduate program at the University of Toronto.

What types of work and extracurricular experience have you had prior to consulting?
I spent my first two summers working as a research student at the University of Toronto in a human factors engineering study and next on a water sustainability research project. In my third year I summered at a management consulting firm and then completed a PEY term at an engineering consulting firm where I had the opportunity to work on the design of low-rise steel and concrete structures.During my undergraduate experience I have also been involved with Women in Science and Engineering and UTCA, among other involvements. I competed in the UTCA Case Competition, led a VCG case team with the Canadian Cancer Society, and served as president of UTCA in my final year. I continue to work with VCG, and am currently an advisor for this year’s program.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
Since I started at BCG in the fall, I have been working primarily in the financial services industry. So far I have worked on a efficiency and effectiveness strategy and am currently working with senior clients on a change management project.

Other comments and insights
I chose management consulting because I wanted a broad experience in a variety of industries working on high-level strategic problems. Consulting is a fast paced and exciting career in which I am continually challenged and pushed to learn new skills and have direct impact on clients at an early stage in my career.

Roy is a Consultant at Bain & Company’s Toronto office. He joined Bain in 2004 after receiving his B.A.Sc (Honours) in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto.

What types of work and extracurricular experiences have you had prior to consulting?
While at the University of Toronto, Roy worked at RepliWeb, a high-tech start up with offices in the United States and Israel. He worked part-time during the school year, working out of their offices during holidays and vacations. His responsibilities included designing tests to identify potential points of software failure, helping to map the firm’s competitive landscape and providing training to both corporate and government clients. At the University of Toronto, Roy was involved in helping develop the Engineering Science curriculum and co-founded N-Sight, a mentoring program for first year Engineering Science students.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
Since joining Bain, Roy has done thought leadership in Bain’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice area and worked in multiple industries including live entertainment, airline food catering, financial services, semiconductors and polyolefin manufacturing. Roy is currently on transfer to Bain’s Singapore office where he is helping a leading international polyolefin manufacturer develop their Asia growth strategy. The project has given him an opportunity to learn first hand about the issues global companies face when looking to Asia for growth, in addition to gaining significant experience working in India.

Other comments and insights
In my years at Bain I have worked out of our Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco and Singapore offices. On my transfer to Singapore I had a chance to travel to Indonesia, Borneo, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, India and Japan. It is a great experience if you love to travel.

Stephen is an Engagement Manager at McKinsey and Company, currently base out of the UK. Previously, Stephen was a Senior Consultant in Accenture’s IT Strategy group (SITE). He received his M.A.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from UofT Centre for Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CMTE). Prior to his Masters degree, Stephen completed an undergrad in Civil Engineering, also at UofT.

What types of work and extracurricular experiences have you had prior to consulting?
While pursuing his engineering degrees, Stephen provided independent consultant services for a range of clients (e.g., technology start-ups, Canadian insurer, retail bank, and a government policy group). As well, Stephen held a 16 month PEY internship with Pillsbury Canada, where he was responsible for coordinating the supply chain activities of two major food product lines. In addition to his work experience, Stephen chaired several engineering committees, co-led a national engineering conference, and was VP Professional Events for the UTCA, raising sponsorship from the consulting firms and getting their involvement in various professional activities.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
As a member of SITE, Stephen works directly with C-level executives to help clients identify and execute the strategic actions necessary to align IT with enterprise priorities, reduce costs, and capture immediate business value from IT.Since joining Accenture, Stephen’s projects have included developing an operations strategy for the next generation of consumer products for a major US telecommunications firm; transforming the entire IT organisation of a global insurer to better meet its business needs; and developing a new decision making model for an $8 billion US military group. Stephen is currently helping a major European bank transform its organisation to help support its future operating model.Over the past two and a half years, Stephen’s work has given him the opportunity to work in five different industries in seven cities across four countries.

Other comments and insights
In consulting, the opportunity to learn and grow as a person is tremendous. It is not easy lifestyle, but the rewards can be significant. Last week, I spent an hour and a half with the CIO of a major global bank briefing her on how to change her organisation to help save tens of millions of euros. With Accenture’s strategy group I have had the chance to influence the leadership and direction of multiple public and private organisations. This is not something that most traditional companies can offer to an individual early on in their career.

Dima is currently an Associate at RBC, and previously served as an Associate Technologist at Sapient Canada’s Toronto office. She joined Sapient in 2006 after receiving her B.A.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto.

What types of work and extracurricular experiences have you had prior to consulting?
While at the University of Toronto, Dima worked at Electrovaya, a Tablet PC company in Toronto. Her responsibilities included creating new marketing campaigns and advertisements and representing Electrovaya at technology tradeshows. Dima was also heavily involved in extracurricular activities, being both the Vice-Chair of CSChE and an active member of LOT. She also provided support for the Student Program Organizing Committee for the 2005 CSChE Conference, and made time to volunteer both at the CSChE Conference and within the chemical engineering department.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
Since joining Sapient in 2006, Dima has focused mainly on the financial market, working with clients to develop technological solutions.

Other comments and insights
Consulting is a fast-paced, high energy career. If you enjoy being consistantly challenged, then consulting’s right for you!

David is currently a Managing Director at DG Volo & Co., previous to that he was an Associate Partner at the Toronto office of Oliver Wyman. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A.Sc. (Industrial Engineering) in 1997, and joined Oliver Wyman in 2005.

What types of work and extracurricular experiences have you had prior to consulting?
I founded and managed a series of start-up businesses, including a promotional products distribution business which held contracts with various University bookstores across Ontario, and a basement waterproofing business which targeted individual homeowners in the Toronto area. While at the University of Toronto, I held progressive positions with the Canadian Society for Industrial Engineering (CSIE) including Chapter President in 1996/97.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
Since joining Oliver Wyman, I have been working with a couple of clients in the Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Distribution industries. Our teams have been focused on new growth strategies and the development of efficient sales channels to support these strategies. Most recently, our team oversaw the deployment of a new Inside Sales function for a Fortune-50 drug distributor.

Other comments and insights
I have been very fortunate to have worked with four separate consulting firms, including my own start-up firm, since I began my consulting career in 1997. Each firm provided a vastly different experience. What they all have in common, however, is the opportunity to learn and develop, and to be surrounded with smart, engaging individuals with a similar passion and drive for success.

David is currently the VP of Product Leadership at The Nielsen Company in Toronto. Previously, he served as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company. While he recently joined the Nielsen Company, he joined McKinsey in 2006 after receiving his B.A.Sc. (Honours) in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto.

What types of work and extracurricular experiences have you had prior to consulting?
Before studying at the University of Toronto, David worked in telecommunications laboratories at Bell Canada as an IT technician. Upon entering university, he changed his focus to scientific research. During summers, he has done independent and group research in the solid state, soft matter, and high energy physics fields. On one notable summer in British Columbia, he was working at the UBC particle accelerator designing experiments to improve the efficiency of detectors.David was also involved in political and social clubs at university through the gay and lesbian engineering students’ group. He was an active member of both the campus-wide and engineering group for three years, serving as the chair and coordinator of the engineering group in his graduating year. While serving as chair, he was challenged to provide spaces and support for students with many restrictions on their activities. He also helped to raise awareness of gay and lesbian issues within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
David found the training experience at McKinsey to be intense and useful. David hopes to have impact on finance, pharmaceutical, and high-tech corporations and build his skills as both a consultant and a professional.

Other comments and insights
From the beginning, the choice of consulting had troubled me because of the seemingly drastic change in discipline. However, I’ve come to realize that a background in engineering is useful because of the basic skills that it develops such as time management, logical reasoning, and problem solving. I believe that consulting is an extremely viable option for students in engineering who want to shift their career path.

Dennis is currently an Experienced Consultant at Accenture, having previously worked in the Deloitte Toronto office for more than 3 years. He was a part of the Jeffrey Skoll, combined B.A.Sc + MBA program at the Rotman School of Management and graduated in 2007. His engineering background is in industrial engineering and he started focusing on corporate strategy and operations management during his second year MBA studies.

What types of work and extracurricular experiences have you had prior to consulting?
Prior to moving into industry, Dennis conducted risk management research for the Cognitive Engineering Laboratory on the Walkerton Ontario E. Coli outbreak and published a paper entitled ‘Sociotechnical systems, risk management and public health: Comparing the North Battleford and Walkerton outbreaks’ at the age of 22. His work has been quoted and referenced in various public health disasters inquiries including Health Canada’s investigation into the SARS outbreak in 2003. Transitioning into industry, Dennis worked for 16 months at the Hudson’s Bay Company on his PEY where he was an internal consultant managing strategic and cost-reduction projects within the areas of store operations, supply chain, merchandising and retail technology. For his MEY, he worked at Petro-Canada and was responsible for balancing petroleum demand and supply for Western Canada.
During his undergraduate degree, Dennis volunteered a large portion of his time at the Ontario Science Centre teaching young children between the ages of 5-13 about the wonders of everyday science. Within the university engineering community, he was also the Vice-President of Corporate Sponsorship for the Institute for Industrial Engineers and planned the 2005 annual conference in Toronto, raising over $45,000 in sponsorship funds. In his first year at Rotman, he became an engagement manager for the Volunteer Consulting Group at the UTCA leading a group of undergraduate students to develop a growth strategy for Jump Math, a non-profit organization who tutors underprivileged children in mathematics.
For the 2006-2007 school year, Dennis will be the Vice-President of the Rotman Management Consulting Association. He plans on introducing the incoming first year students to the case interview process much earlier on to give them the necessary time to prepare for the summer recruiting season. In addition, Dennis will be the Director of Speakers for the Rotman Marketing Association. His mandate will be to bring in speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds and fields to open people’s minds to the large diversity of careers that exist in marketing.

What types of work/roles have you had as a consultant?
Since joining Deloitte in May 2006, Dennis has worked for a major Canadian financial institution developing a bank-wide, anti-money laundering governance structure and future state vision to protect the bank from potential reputation and operational risks. Currently, he is working with a high tech manufacturer to redesign its inventory and demand forecasting processes. Dennis is also deeply involved with Deloitte’s recruiting activities and is responsible for the Rotman summer account.

Other comments and insights
Consulting is a great way for people who love problem solving to get their hands dirty and solve some of the business world’s toughest problems. You’re always learning different things and challenging yourself to go beyond your comfort zone. Ambiguity is part of a consultant’s life and you just can’t get rid of it. While it might be scary at times, the ability to combine your creativity with analytic thought allows you to see things others cannot. It’s challenging work but it’s that challenge that keeps you coming back each and every day.


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