As reported by Amandine B. Michaud, BMus’09, Marketing Professional
On May 3, the McGill Young Alumni (MYA) hosted one of their popular networking events at the Omni Hotel in downtown Montreal. The grim and rainy weather that day did not intimidate the registrants, who came in large numbers. After a warm greeting at the entrance, McGill alumni of all ages and industries gathered in the reception hall for a panel discussion on professional development.
Exclusive Opportunities Brought To You by Your Alma Mater
Xavier Van Chau, BA’01, President of the MYA, kicked off the event right on time with a short introductory speech. He set the tone for the rest of the event: an elegant and exclusive get-together of McGill alumni and a chance to meet with leaders who have made their way to the top of the corporate ladder.
Indeed, the impressive panel of leaders included top executives working in diverse industries including: Paul Levesque, DipManTour’92, President and CEO at Pfizer Canada; Carole Teitelbaum, BA’83, Executive VP from Bath & Bodyworks; Brigitte Simard, BA’88, Client Partner at Korn/Ferry International; and Monica Trevino, PhD’06, Research Consultant at Universalia. They quickly won over the crowd with their warm personalities and shared words of wisdom, sometimes with great humour.
Leadership and Interpersonal Skills under the Spotlight
Among the various discussions, one piece of advice stood out: your corporate success depends more on your soft skills than you might think! As one panelist said, “You hire somebody for their skills. You fire them for their behaviour.” Interpersonal skills are crucial to integrate successfully into an organization, to collaborate well with your colleagues and to earn their respect.
Leadership was also a popular topic. Carole Teitelbaum discussed at length how passion will lead you very far and that it is an important characteristic to display during interviews. The advice given to job seekers was to not only look at the salary and the benefits offered but to also take into consideration the company’s culture and to determine if it fits your personality so that you can shine.
All in all, the insightful and dynamic back-and-forth provided precious learning material for job seekers and industry veterans alike. The affordable cover and premium location made the event an excellent way to Montreal alumni to kick off the spring.