Jan Klakurka

Jan Klakurka
Grad Year: 
Director, Corporate Planning & Business Development
Business, Finance & Administration

*update*: Jan Klakurka is currently the Director of Corporate Planning & Business Development for Wasteco.

Jan Klakurka is a manager with the strategy consulting practice of Deloitte, specializing in Finance and Performance Management.

“Deloitte is the largest, full-service professional services firm in the country. I am responsible for helping clients solve their business problems. This position requires me to demonstrate leadership to the clients, to help unlock the solutions to their business issues,” says Jan, who went on to earn his MBA after graduating from UTM.

“It also allows me to think creatively and work with highly skilled colleagues in an unstructured environment. It is challenging to stand up in front of a crowd of senior executives, facilitate their conversations, and often have to reveal the problems inherent in their organizations.”

Jan exhausted every avenue he could think of in searching for a job, but he found that personal contacts were the most effective way of creating opportunities.

“Make sure everyone you know has a copy of your resume and is a supporter of yours, meaning they will ask their friends and colleagues in your chosen industry for assistance with your job search,” he says.

He says before preparing your resume, brainstorm a list of your relevant experience and read other people’s resumes to get an idea of how others present information about themselves. His advice is to break down the resume-writing process.

“Break down each task into its component parts. When you do this, you will often see that you had to do many things that look great on a new-grad resume,” he says. “Maybe you've facilitated a meeting, presented to an entrepreneur who ran the company you worked for in the summer, or maybe you researched some information and synthesized it into a concise argument for your boss.”

Jan found that his mentors were able to offer him plenty of advice about what to expect from the positions he has held. Before his current position, Jan worked as a Staff Accountant for Beallor, Beallor & Burns, CAs; a Senior Auditor for McCarney Greenwood, Cas; and a Senior Financial Analyst for General Motors of Canada.

According to Jan, in consulting, it is very important to have a solid combination of analytical and general management skills.

“Since you must interact with people at all levels of the organization, you must have very good presence and be articulate. You must also be able to crunch spreadsheet models and create convincing arguments with well-articulated presentations,” says Jan.

Jan is actively involved outside the office. Not only is he a member of the UTM Alumni House & Gates cabinet, he has recently run the Deloitte IMPACT Day program, lead the Deloitte & GM United Way campaigns, and developed the Deloitte IMPACT scholarship and mentoring program. He is also a regular mentor to a McGill B.Com student.

If he could do anything differently, Jan would only change one thing.

“I would study harder to get amazing grades, because it's just like your Mom and Dad taught you—if you get straight As, then you'll have your choice of job. And, by the time you’re 30-35, you'll be set up with a great career,” he says.

He advises against choosing a career bases solely on its salary. “Be honest with yourself, with what you are interested in, and what you want to do. If you like a certain industry where jobs are scarce, you should seriously still consider this industry. Those people that chose to enter an industry early on, at often less attractive salaries, have since moved into senior positions. And once you establish yourself in a higher income bracket in one industry, it is not that simple to make a lateral move into a different industry,” he says.

“Like your choice to go to U of T, make sure you chose the high road. That is, keep selecting the best companies to work for and the best schools to attend. But, that will only get you so far. You have to keep smiling and be friendly, but street-smart. And speak clearly—first impressions are important."