Michael Phan

Name: 
Michael Phan
Grad Year: 
2001
Degree: 
BCom
Program: 
Accounting
Economics
Finance
Title: 
School Teacher
Industry: 
Social Science, Education & Religion
Organization: 
Fernhill School

Q: Briefly describe your current position and responsibilities, including challenges/rewards. How did you go about your job search upon graduating -- what strategies were most successful and why do you think you were hired?

My current position as a school teacher was not the same career choice when I graduated. Upon graduating from UTM, I went into the business field being recruited directly by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The years following that, I worked for a variety of companies while studying to obtain my CGA designation. I've had a lot of diversity in my employment background which as proven to be advantageous in many respects.

Q: List the key positions you have held since graduation, and any post-graduate degrees/diplomas you earned after graduation. If applicable, list any other ways you are involved in your profession or in your community (member of a professional association, involved as a leadership volunteer, etc).

I am currently serving on the Research Committee of the CGA Ontario, as well as have marked and invigilated many of their professional assignments and examinations. I'm returning this year to dedicate more time to volunteering as I've been an Alumni Mentor in prior years.

Q: What personal characteristics/skills are most important for success in your job/field?

Being able to build strong relationships with people and constantly developing those important networking skills.

Q: During your university career did any key experiences assist you in making your career choices? If yes, how so? (Internships? Extern Program? Volunteering? Student clubs? Summer job? Mentorship?)

The experience from UTM that I had that eventually lead me into my current career choice as a teacher was back in 2000 when I worked as a TA for a couple of my accounting courses. It opened my eyes to the world of academia (other than as a student).

Q: What have been the keys to your success? What advice would you give to students who wish to pursue a similar career path? If you had the chance to plan your studies and your career path again, what would you do differently (if anything)?

Keys to my success have been many. The greatest would be being able to walk away with knowledge and skills from any employment/volunteer position that I have held in the past that added to my bank of knowledge, which in turn has increased my marketability in the business world.