sion. What can you do? You have
got very different perspectives:
First, you are in Canada, not the
US. We try to enforce that as
much as possible in our school.
And second, you’ve got a very
Asian and Indian global perspec-
tive. Global trade in products
and services is big part of China
and India’s success. Be and act
like a global citizen.
Enthusiastically seek out oppor-
tunities to work in the global
centers of excellence, on the best
projects, with the best teams and
with the best clients.
About entrepreneurship, do it
on somebody else’s dollars first.
Get trained, call on their clients,
work on great projects and then
go to your own company or start
your own business consulting.
When we go into India and sell
the Schulich School, our pro-
grams and executive training of
which I am part, we are told by
CEOs and senior leaders that
they have full confidence in their Indian
people. We are told that they are
absolutely phenomenal technically but
they do not always know how to
lead people, how to connect the
dots. South Asians are really good
project managers; they understand
technology, they understand the
financial statements and technical
aspects of an organization. They
don’t necessarily know how to con-
nect each of these skills, how to
commercialize it, how to engage an
organization, how to communicate
a strategy and get people aligned
around that strategy. So, think
about your competencies and com-
fort with communication skills,
presentation skills, interpersonal
skills, cross-cultural skills and team
building. All those personal skills
A February 2009 survey of execu-
tives on Execunet.com asked where
are the jobs in the next six months:
90 percent of the positions you can-
not do without an MBA or the
MBA would be a huge advantage.
So, MBA is the right choice. Most of the
positions were in business development
and customer value creation roles.
On your university campus, do not rely
on just the 100 or whatever the number
of companies that come out on campus
to offer those opportunities. Although
they make the job search process easier
and make you feel that you are really
wanted, they may not be your best com-
panies. You have to think about what are
your value and cultural preferences,
what are your technical preferences and
where will you do well, what you did in
your life, etc. That’s what you should do.
Your passion is your heart, your head is
your dollar and you want to make some
money or you want to make sure that
your education continues beyond educa-
tion and therefore you have to opt for
centers of excellence.
2. Match your head and heart and you
will be very successful.
3. Be a global citizen. Excel in working
4. Focus on the transfer of your
skills. Focus on critical thinking,
problem solving, value creation, and
effective relationship building.
Those transferable skills will be with
us no matter what sector, what
industry, what functions, what your
geographical targets are.
5. Ensure that you always under-
stand the business, understand the
technical aspects. It is always impor-
tant. If you look at the TSX, Dow
Jones or any major stock index in the
world, you will find that companies
are getting more complex — engi-
neering, accounting, IT are great, but
what more do you bring to the table?
It is not the best engineers or the
technical person that rise to the top.
It is the person who knows how to
negotiate, play the political game, get
people to rally around the strategy, is
a great person in the boardroom and
Those are the skills you have to get.
How do you get those skills? In class?
Yes, but outside the class as well. Half of
your learning must be outside of class.
Organizations will invest in talent that
can apply their learning in a global, real-world context.
THERE’S NO SUCH
Joseph Palumbo is executive director,
THING AS TALENT
AND JUST LIKE OIL
PRICES, RIGHT NOW
PRICES AND DEMAND
ARE DOWN, BUT IF
YOU THINK IT IS OVER
YOU ARE WRONG
career development, Schulich School of
Business, York University.