Career Change

Case 4

Business Strategist from CPG industry and Executive MBA graduate successfully makes career transition into the automotive retail space.

I could get myself to the door, and I could see a vague outline of what it was I wanted to be, but Diana was the one who opened it and showed me a concrete path towards achieving my dreams. She taught me how important it was to make my career decisions based on who I am, what my values are, and what my long-term vision is. She made me realize that I should never compromise on my dreams.” (Jawwad)

What was your situation prior to entering the coaching program?

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in accounting that I applied to numerous Financial Analyst roles at top CPG companies. I was then recruited into Pepsi Co. I joined Pepsi as a Financial Planner, but was then promoted into the role of Sales Strategist. This position was very cross-functional and it made me realize that I needed to be in a dynamic role that would constantly challenge me. This inspired me to go back and do my Executive MBA at the Ivey Business School.

I proactively reached out to Diana during my Executive MBA because I wanted to transition smoothly from the role I held at Pepsi. Ivey Business School actually offered all students free career coaching, but I knew how important this time in my life was, and I wanted to take the time to make this investment in my career and personal development.

What steps did you take to differentiate your job application?

When I entered the program, I wanted to use that time to work on my interview skills so that I would be prepared for the job search process. I also wanted to gain a better understanding of who I was and what I wanted to do with my life.

She helped me discover more about who I am, what makes me happy, and what my vision is. She gave me that laser focus that I needed to develop a plan for me to follow throughout my career so that I can accumulate the skills and experience that I’ll need to achieve my vision.

Diana really encouraged me to follow my dreams. I realized how important it is to have a long-term, overarching goal that is more than just working towards the next promotion or raise. I needed goals that weren’t just for a job, but for my life.

I also worked on my interview skills with her, and she taught me how to structure my answers so that I can convey my message with more clarity.

What was your success coming out of the coaching program?

I was hired into a role at Imperial Tobacco Canada as a Trade Marketing Account Representative (TMAR), gaining critical sales and customer management experience. I oversee about $15 million of sales, work with retailers on a daily basis, help drive profitability, and work to increase our market share. It’s a very engaging and dynamic role that suits my personality perfectly.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals with job search challenges?

  1. Have a plan. Have a vision. Do a targeted job search and don’t just apply for jobs for the sake of having one. I’ve done that in the past, and it’s not something that works in the long-term. Make sure that the roles that you take on fit within your long-term plan and you’ll end up taking away so much more value from that experience.
  2. Hire a coach. I knew that if I wanted to take my career to the next level, I would have to invest in myself. I reached out to Diana because I wanted to grow and develop as a person. What I love about her is that she is transparent, helpful, engaging, approachable, and she genuinely cares about her clients. She’s not out there and selling her name to collect a pay-check, she really wants to make a positive impact on society. Diana’s coaching helped me learn, grow, and become more successful, and I would recommend her programs any day.