As a Manager, you will gain many advantages that will propel you forward in your career. Many Summer Management alumni will tell you that their experience and learning from our program was the foundation of their successful career and that their experience is still very relevant today in their current positions .
Another very important benefit is the network of people you will be building up around you through this program. You will meet like minded, energetic, hardworking people just like you, many of whom you will continue to connect with long after you leave the program. Many of our alumni have found jobs and business opportunities through other SMP alumni! Please listen to what these alumni have to say about their experience with The Summer Management Program.
Currently: Chief Venues & Operations Officer at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
Rookie Year: 1989
Turf: North Toronto
Advice: Always put your customers first and lead by example – there’s no task, no matter how small, that as owner/operator, you don’t do.
Nick Eaves was the President/CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, a billion-dollar horse racing and gambling organization in Canada. Nick left to join Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment as the Chief Venues and Operating Officer. He is responsible for overseeing the Operations, Facilities and Security functions as well as venue development and construction.
Currently: VP at GHD
Rookie Year: 1996
Advice: The opportunity to explore your entrepreneurial side and shape your business acumen is right there in front of you; tackle the challenge head-on, it will be a challenging yet extremely rewarding experience.
Jason Haelzle is a Principal and Vice President at GHD one of the world’s top privately held engineering and professional services companies. Jason credits his experience at SW for giving him leadership and management experience, the ability to adapt to the rapidly changing business environment and allowing him to make an impact in his professional career.
Currently: Responsible for Federal Crown Corporations in Montreal for Gartner
Rookie Year: 2008
Advice: Work hard and dedicate yourself to gaining experience now, it will be your foundation for future opportunities.
Harry Gurberg is a McGill University graduate that quickly moved up the leadership arm of Xerox to become a Principal in their sales organization. He’s recently moved on to Gartner, the world’s leading Research & Advisory firm where he is responsible for Federal Crown Corporations in Montreal.
Currently: Owner of Zoup! Fresh Soup Company, Restoration 1 Canada, Sears Driving School of Michigan, Franchisee of Goldfish Swim School and investor/director in a dozen businesses
Rookie Year: 1989
Turf: North York
Advice: You can’t build a successful business alone. The ability to engage, train and retain amazing hard-working people and partners will exponentially multiply your success. Use your 4-month experience at Student Works like I did becoming an expert at people. Many things I learned for the first time in 1989 are things I do every day.
Richard Simtob has created three Inc 500 fastest growing companies in the US. His latest in a long line of companies is a Fresh Soup Company called Zoup that has won many awards from Inc magazine, Nations Restaurants News and #4 of top 100 Movers and Shakers by Fast Casual Magazine.
Currently: CEO of a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange, Duke Royalty
Rookie Year: 1988
Turf: Vancouver & London
Advice: If there is one piece of advice for entrepreneurs I would give, is to never give up. Keep pushing forward even when disappointment strikes. If you desire something enough, you will find doors open … or you are kicking them down. But be flexible… there are surprises behind every door. Perseverance is the key to success.
Neil Johnson is the CEO of publicly traded Duke Royalty which is the UK’s first diversified royalty investment company formed to help business owners unlock value while liberating them of the restraints of traditional equity and debt financing.
For most of Neil’s career he was raising through the ranks of Canaccord Genuity, spending 19 years there in Vancouver, London UK and Toronto. Neil started as a technology analyst at the beginning of the internet revolution and spent 10 years in London. While in London he was the Head of Investment Banking for 8 years, responsible for building Canaccord’s European operation. During his tenure Canaccord raised over $7 billion in equity for Canadian companies and became the #1 investment bank in London’s junior market, AIM.
Using his network and experience taking Canadian companies to London, Neil founded Duke Royalty based on the successful Canadian business model and has pioneered the alternative finance method in Europe.
Neil lives with his wife and son in Toronto.
Currently: Founder & President, SimpleTax
Rookie Year: 2002
Advice: Focus on what matters.
Jonathan Suter is Founder & President at SimpleTax. With over half million users, SimpleTax is one of Canada’s most successful, and most loved startups. Prior to founding SimpleTax, Jonathan held leadership roles as a vice president of product management and management consultant. He’s worked with global clients such as Coca-Cola, AB InBev, JP Morgan Chase, and Blackberry.
Currently: Partner in the law firm of Templeman LLP
Rookie Year: 1996
Turf: Year 1 – Belleville/Napanee; Year 2 – Toronto
Advice: Amidst the excitement of growing your own business, you will also face obstacles. As you gain experience, you will realize that every issue can be resolved in some way. As a rookie operator, don’t be afraid to reach out for advice from more experienced managers. When you face obstacles, take a deep breath – you will be able to overcome the challenges. Every time you do, you will develop greater confidence and resilience that will help strengthen you for the rest of your life.
Angela Brown is a partner in the law firm of Templeman Menninga in Kingston after a successful career in Investment Banking with Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets.
Currently: President/CEO of Carbon Marine
Rookie Year: 2005
Advice: Get out as early as possible. I was selling paint jobs with the snow still on the ground. The earlier you start, the more you can improve prior to production hitting and you can get a better sense of what you need, in general, and for crews.
It’s critical to start learning what works and what doesn’t and what areas are going to be fruitful and which ones to de-prioritize as soon as possible. Hit the pavement, hit the phone, and you’ll get work.
Of course, this opportunity can get you some good coin, but the best takeaway is the learning experience and professional growth. The best learning opportunity from a business perspective is taking on the sales, customer and crew management and stay away from the brush once things get started. The earlier you start your business, the better chance you have at staying in this role. The more you can be in this role, the more your team can produce and the more lessons you learn that are applicable to your on-going career.
Currently: Financial Analyst at Sobey’s
Rookie Year: 2006
Advice: Be prepared to challenge yourself like you have never done before. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try things that you never though would be possible. An experience like this will prepare you and set the foundation for your future. Embrace it and give it everything you can.
Ahmed Nassrat (2006 – 2009, Dalhousie University) moved to Sobey’s from Student Works and became the youngest ever Assistant Manager of a store and then the youngest ever Manager of a store. After five years he moved into head office to work in Finance for them. On the side, Ahmed runs an international travel business focused on Scuba Diving in fantastic locations.
Currently: Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company
Rookie Year: 2004
Advice: When hiring… “Don’t solve for experience painting, solve for attitude (and a history of being okay with repetitive tasks)”
Chris Reynolds (2005, University of Western Ontario) spent four years with KPMG, before joining OMERS, and then finally, McKinsey & Company. McKinsey is the preeminent consulting firm in the world. Chris has excelled quickly and is now an Engagement Manager working out of Toronto in the Retail space assisting Canadian retailers transform their businesses. Chris has just been promoted to an Associate Partner!
Currently: Founder of Podcast Your Brand™ | Host of The Inner Changemaker; Top 100 Self-Help Podcast via iTunes
Rookie Year: 2007
Turf: North York
Advice: Think of this experience as a “red pill vs. blue pill” moment taken from the Matrix movie scene…except you are the main character. Do you choose to go about your day and life not knowing what you are truly capable of… (cough blue pill)?
OR do you select the “red pill”
Do you start the journey of seeing how far you go…
As an entrepreneur and a leader, SWP has been an invaluable experience for me and I have never looked back.
My advice: Bet on yourself and take the red pill
Jay Wong (2006, University of Ottawa) – Jay is committed to helping creators and entrepreneurs get their message out to the world in a bigger way. He is the host and producer of “The Inner Changemaker”; ranked as the #1 Self-Help podcast when he launched and named as a top 10 Business podcast for 2016 from Podcast Awards. On his show, he interviews high-profile entrepreneurs and world-class creators on choosing legacy over currency.
With interviews from game-changing entrepreneurs such as Bob Proctor, Sean Stephenson, Grant Cardone and many other prominent names around the world, it’s no surprise that his podcast has risen on top of the podcasting charts. In October 2016, his podcast was featured at Yonge and Dundas square, highlighting the message of what can happen when you begin to chase the impossible and make it possible. When he is not podcasting or running his online education business, he travels around the world traveling and speaking on leadership for millennials and being a changemaker.
Currently: Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and Professional Project Manager (PMP)
Rookie Year: 2001
Advice: If you are one of the lucky ones to be offered this opportunity, take it! Looking back more than fifteen years later, I couldn’t have imagined the impact this program would have on me. It was one of the most transformative experiences of my life and one I look back upon very fondly. Firstly, it allowed me to pay for my university tuition in the country’s most prestigious business school. But more importantly, it taught me so much about professionalism, running a business, earning a profit, managing employees, and customer satisfaction. The training program instills a set of life-long values and allows you to build a network of rising stars that lasts long after the paint dries. Some people are skeptical of the program but my advice is – follow the training program, do what is asked of you, and you will succeed. The measure of success with this program is only limited by what you put into it, and the rewards can be enormous if you commit to it.
Kristen is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and Professional Project Manager (PMP) with over 10 years of combined experience in Finance Advisory, Canadian Corporate Tax and Assurance. She specializes in Finance Transformation in Financial Services and driving value for her clients. Through both entrepreneurial ventures and large-scale professional services experience, Kristen brings commercial acumen and problem-solving skills to client engagements. She possesses a balanced soft-skill and technical skill set and thrives in a dynamic work environment.
Currently: President of Manitou Gold
Rookie Year: 1992
Advice: Success occurs when preparation meets opportunities. Always have several irons in the fire and brand your new adventure as it goes by. Always be ready to change on short notice. The new world of business is fast paced and you need to be ready all the time in order to capitalize on opportunities. I am currently running 5 businesses and I have a few more in the fire. Life is short, seize the moment. As my friend who has had ALS for 26 years already says… Let’s Roll life is short.
Pat Dubreuil has recently been appointed as president of Manitou Gold Inc TSX-V: MTU, a junior mining company with projects in two Ontario mining jurisdictions. He was named the “2016 Northern Ontario Business Entrepreneur of the Year” for his work in the tourism and accommodations industry following the installation of the Magpie Relay Motel & Resort which caters to the PowerSports industry. With an MBA from Athabasca University and an Honours degree in Psychology and Business from the University of Ottawa, Pat has held positions as R&D Director for the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation, as Vice-President of Business Development & Marketing for BESTECH Engineering, the role of General Manager for ACR Fuller Industrial and Director of Sales for Les ’Entreprises Boréal’, where each role included responsibility for strategic business development, market segmentation and the coordination of sales and implementation teams. Possessing strong financial management skills, he has also held operational positions as Financial Administrator and as budget manager for the public sector. His skill set includes the development and coordination of solution based programs/projects and the complexities of dealing with partnerships in private industry, and the public sector.
Currently: Portfolio Leader M&A Group Volaris
Rookie Year: 1987
Advice: Running a business at a young age is the single most important experience you can gain to set you up for a successful career as a leader. SW accelerate this experience by providing you with a system and coach that helps takes some of the risk out of taking this step while you finish your schooling. Everyone employer or business person worth speaking with when you graduate will value this part of your resume.
Christopher Chapman now has global responsibility for M&A for the financial services group within one of Constellation Software.
Previously, Chris lead KPMG’s technology practice and worked on numerous M&A transactions and financings as an independent advisor to founder lead, venture backed technology businesses. Throughout his career, Chris has managed numerous global strategic partnerships, system integrator relationships, enterprise sales and system engineer teams, successfully launched and commercialized three new product developments and has been involved in over 20 M&A, buyouts, exits, divestitures, private equity and debt financings as an entrepreneur, investor, board member and advisor.
Currently: Founder and Alesmith, Big Spruce Brewery
Rookie Year: 1991
Turf: North Toronto
Advice: Complacency is death. Sitting is the new smoking.
Jeremy White spent the early part of his career overseas running Sales and Business Development in Latin American and the Caribbean for Biwater International Ltd, a British Water and Wastewater contractor. Later, he moved into Operations with Biwater and project managed the $42m sewage treatment plant design/build project for the capital city of Managua, Nicaragua. He then transitioned back to Canada, taking up residence in rural Cape Breton, where he worked remotely as a recruiter in the financial industry in New York, London and Asia. Most recently, Jeremy and his wife Melanie started Big Spruce Brewing, a Certified Organic, on-farm craft brewery and hop yard, located on their farm in Cape Breton, NS. Big Spruce is multi-award winning micro-brewery found in the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation store, and in many pubs across Atlantic Canada.
Currently: Peter Bendevis is a recent graduate that has is CPA and CA and is working in the industry and also owns the largest East Side Mario’s in Canada. He also has a thriving photography business that has expanded beyond reason in the Waterloo region
Rookie Year: 2009
Advice: Don’t shy away from the inevitable challenges that will arise. Overcoming these have provided me with skills that have been invaluable in my subsequent endeavours!
Great team environment, with lots of support and learning from business owners and leaders. Lots of work to be done and money to be made for hard working operators!
Outstanding opportunity. Would never have had the chance to run my own business at 19 years old and learn as much as I have today. Excellent management and training; amazing organization from the top down.
The best thing I found about Student Works was the company culture. There are payroll events in the summer time where you get to hang out with equally hard working and interesting students who are going through the same experience as yourself, so you can share your experiences as well as get your mind off the hard work you do the rest of the week!
This was the most rewarding work I've ever done...what you put in is what you get out. The harder you work, the more successful you will be. Fast paced and competitive environment.
Besides the fact that you make a lot of money working for this company (as long as you work hard) you learn a valuable set of life skills that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. The company itself? Amazing! They have events that keep us together and its unreal to be surrounded by like-minded hard-working people all of the time. Everyone provides unconditional support. I have no bad thoughts.
Unbelievable business experience, nothing compares. Wild ride! Rough times but the good makes up for the bad in a big way. Amazing friendships made!
Student Works gives you an amazing opportunity to meet people that will change your life, and to build leadership skills that will benefit you in the future. This experience teaches young leaders how difficult it really is to manage a business and do so successfully. It is rewarding, to the day the least, how much you will gain from the experience.
This is no doubt the hardest job a student can have while attending school. You will learn to balance friends, family, school, business, and further how to prioritize the most importants parts of your life. It is a great chance to develop your communication skills, stress management, and most importantly will push you to limits you never thought you would ever go to. You must be willing to put in 20+ hours per week while in school if you want to run a larger business, but the payoff for doing so is quite nice when the cheques arrive later in the summer. Overall, a great way to set yourself apart from other students.