Ian Scott (BA,1989; U of T MBA/CA, 1991) has enjoyed two successful careers to date: his first was as a chartered accountant and now he is a lawyer.
“I majored in commerce and economics, so business was always something I had an interest in,” Scott says. “When a combined MBA and chartered accountancy program was launched, I thought, ‘Why not go for it?’ ”
Scott worked for both Ernst & Young and the Bank of Montreal before deciding that international experience would benefit his career. He considered moving to London, where he had been born, but decided instead to go to New York City, a decision he doesn’t regret.
“The city itself is more culturally aligned with Toronto, and everything is close together,” Scott says. “I planned to go there for a couple of years, then return to Toronto, but I liked it so much, I’ve stayed.”
He arrived in New York without a job, but his chartered accounting background ensured that he was quickly hired by investment bank Credit Suisse, where he worked for a dozen years.
Despite his career success, Scott decided to take on a different challenge: law school.
“Law school was one of those things that was always in the back of my mind,” Scott says. “I applied to Harvard for fun, so it was quite a shock when I was accepted.”
Scott originally planned to study law as a hobby and return to investment banking, but during his first year, he decided that practicing law was what he was meant to do.
While in law school, he used his own experiences to write a book that would help other aspiring lawyers. Law School Lowdown: Secrets of Success from the Application Process to Landing the First Job was published by Barron’s in 2013..
Today, Scott runs his own practice specializing in helping foreigners, including Canadians, obtain visas to invest in or start businesses in the United States.
“My U of T degrees are really beneficial,” he says. “People come to me knowing I have a solid business background.”
Two degrees, thousands of kilometres, and an infinite love of research led Kirstie Cadger (BSc, 2011; U of T MA, 2014) to her new job as a First Nations relations analyst in Prince George, considered the capital of northern B.C.
Cadger attributes her success to her UTSC degree in International Development Studies and Environmental Science. Her undergraduate studies laid the foundation for her current career, she says, one that requires critical thought, attention to detail, and knowledge of historical context.
Her education at UTSC, she says, “exposed me to new ways of thinking, and also provided valuable experiences which enabled me to network with professionals in field and figure out where my interests were.” says Cadger, who completed her Masters in Human Geography at U of T last summer and a few months later started her job with the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Now the 27-year-old primarily conducts behind-the-scenes research. Her focus is on developing a comprehensive ethno-historical map that details historical land use to guide government and industry when making future land use decisions. "It’s an aid, and it’s just to get the process started,” says Cadger, adding that she hopes the mapping software she’s developing will make consultation more efficient and effective.
Uprooting from Ontario to British Columbia was second nature to Cadger. She’s used to travelling far from home in pursuit of her passions. While at UTSC, Cadger spent 10 months in Botswana as part of a co-op program and did her graduate fieldwork in Ghana.
“Academic learning is one thing,” she stresses, “but being able to apply those skills after school is also important.”
Call it a homecoming of sorts: Fulvio Martinez (BA, 2005) has reignited his relationship with U of T Scarborough, courtesy of the 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games.
The 35-year-old UTSC alum and native of Nicaragua is manager of community outreach and media relations with the TORONTO 2015, and his job often finds him on campus giving tours of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre to foreign journalists or touching base with student organizations to recruit volunteers and staff.
His experience at UTSC prepared him well. While pursuing a degree in international studies with minors in political science and new media, he immersed himself in extracurricular activities that would have a lasting impact on his life and others.
“I never made it just an experience of walking to a classroom and then going back home. I always wanted more,” says Martinez. For the active undergrad, “more” meant getting involved in student politics and becoming vice-president, student life where he was responsible for the student activities that had a social or cultural component.
Martinez also formed U of T’s first-ever Latin American club, which led to the establishment of the Organization of Latin American Students, a coalition that brings together Latin American student clubs from a number of post-secondary institutions.
“Fast forward 14 years, it’s still going,” says Martinez. “I am actually happy to say that we – the Games – have reached out the clubs for support for volunteers and even candidates for jobs.”
For Martinez, his UTSC connection and the Pan Am job go hand-in-hand.
“I am passionate about both and I feel that I can piggyback one on the other,” he says. “And now I get to promote this marvelous new building that’s on campus. It’s an amazing legacy.”
The co-op program at U of T Scarborough provided Arie Molema (BA, 2009) with a chance to test whether his dream career was really the right one for him.
Molema, who grew up in the Greater Toronto Area, chose to attend U of T Scarborough because the international development studies co-op program meant he could combine his interests in public health, anthropology and social justice. He spent a co-op year in Bolivia, working on a youth HIV/AIDS prevention program for Oxfam Quebec and researching changes in the country’s healthcare system.
“I discovered that I wasn’t as interested in development work as I was in research,” says Molema.
Consequently, he obtained a master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh, where a joint program in global health and anthropology made it possible for him to continue pursuing both passions. While in Edinburgh, he learned of the tragic history of Canada’s Indian residential schools.
“I found the information fascinating and shocking all at once,” Molema says, “and I wondered why I hadn’t learned about it in school.”
This fuelled his desire to immerse himself in studying the social and political context behind residential schools for the remainder of his graduate studies.
Molema returned to U of T to pursue a PhD under the supervision of Professor Michael Lambek at UTSC and Professor Holly Wardlow at U of T’s St. George campus. He chose anthropology over public health as the best vehicle to do some critical social analysis of residential schools in Canada and how they had been addressed.
While he finishes his dissertation, Errors of Commission: Indian Residential Schools and the Politics of Memory in Canada, Molema is teaching a fourth-year seminar at UTSC called The Politics of Memory, which draws on some of his research.
“We examine what memory means at the collective level and who gets to determine how history is written, and we consider how we can challenge that,” Molema says.
“What I love most about teaching at UTSC is its richly diverse student body that brings interesting perspectives to the table.”