What is your current position? Briefly describe what you do.
As a Strategy & Operations Consultant, I advise clients on transformational and improvement initiatives – and my focus is on Supply Chain. Projects differ greatly from one another, but as an example, I am currently working on a Nevada-based project with a mining client, supporting them through strategic sourcing initiatives. Last year, I worked with a Vancouver-based conglomerate and retailer on their real estate strategy, a spend diagnostic for a Canadian public sector organization.
What was the best advice that you received while you were an SFU student?
It is not always what you know nor who you know, but how you get to what you need to know.
When I started my first co-op position at Research In Motion (BlackBerry), I asked for feedback from my manager as to why I was hired. It turns out my management role at McDonald’s (of all places!) was indicative of my team leadership skills and individual work ethic. As I only finished my second year of university by then and was still very green, I was hired for my character, team fit, and soft skills. This again was reinforced when I was about to graduate and recruiting with consulting firms, whose expectation is to never stop learning.
What did you think you would be doing when you started university?
I thought I would be in a typical office job in Vancouver. The thought of that now scares me as I cannot imagine going into the same office, day in day out, and doing the same job. Now, I do not have a permanent desk anywhere (home office nor client office) and spend more time out of town than in. The flexibility of consulting is attractive and it allows for a particular lifestyle. It may not always work for everyone all the time, but I am very happy that I can align my passion for travelling with my profession. Over the last 12 months, I have visited 25+ cities around the world for both work and personal travels.
Did you ever have an 'aha' moment in regards to your career? What was it?
When I was in university, I initially thought I wanted to work in project management for technology companies, so I positioned my co-op roles at BlackBerry and TELUS accordingly. As important as it is to figure out what I want to do, it is also what I do not want. I found out I prefer working with the bigger picture and deciding what these projects are, or even how these projects fit into a company’s long-term health.
Click here to learn more about Joshua's experience at Research in Motion (now BlackBerry) as a Beta Project Coordinator!