Optimyz magazine, a Canadian women’s wellness magazine, has named U of T Mississauga and OISE alumna Rumeet Billan to its Top 10 list.
Billan, an author, entrepreneur and humanitarian, joins a list that includes Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Patty Hajdu, the current federal Minister of Health, Canadian Senator Wanda Bernard, and tennis player Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion.
When Billan was first notified that she was named, she was absolutely surprised.
“When you look at the names, I was like ‘Really?’” she said, “because you know the impact that these women are making.”
Billan, who completed her Bachelor of Arts at UTM in 2006 with a major in industrial relations and a minor in sociology before earning two degrees with OISE – a Master of Education and PhD in higher education and leadership, thought “it was humbling to be included on the list of Theresa Tam and Patty Hajdu and Bianca and Wanda.”
A self-described “learning architect,” Billan runs a training and development firm for senior leaders that provides training, learning and development through the delivery of programs, courses, workshops and keynotes. She’s also an instructor at McMaster University – and has filled similar roles at Humber College.
The first recipient of UTM’s Desmond Parker Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2014, Billan continues to stay involved with UTM as a featured alumni speaker on topics of emotional resilience and happiness.
“I create, build and deliver different programming but it’s all based around wellbeing,” says Billan, whose clients include Purolator, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and SickKids Hospital, among others. “We look at things like emotional intelligence, bias awareness, resilience and psychological capital. And really the focus is how do we become who we’re meant to be?”
In terms of who she is meant to be, especially with this Top 10 list, she thought of one person.
“What I thought of is my son, he’s four years old,” she added. “In the magazine it refers to me as an ‘educator and humanitarian.’ That’s what I want him to know, in terms of who I am, because position titles come and go but that piece about giving back, that piece about making an impact. That’s who we are.”