The Business of Balance
Jess Mann (BCom 1990) started giving young people a helping hand years before she realized she could make a career out of it.
The UTM commerce graduate and her husband, Kerry Mann, established the Randeep Grewal Memorial Scholarship in memory of Jess’ brother, a UTM student. The first award in UTM’s digital enterprise management specialist program, it has supported fifteen top undergraduate students since 2009.
“I believe that you have to consider where life has put you,” Jess says. “I had parents who could give me a university education. I don’t worry about putting three meals on the table. With those privileges comes a proportionate responsibility to give back. The choice we got to make was how to express that gratitude. Education was top of mind because so much of our lives today is thanks to our phenomenal education.”
Jess has also supported UTM students as a mentor and guest speaker on topics including financial literacy and the transition from school to work. She brings to each volunteer commitment 25 years experience as one of the Managing Directors of Scotiabank’s wealth management businesses and as Chief Operating Officer of Mantralogix, the boutique technology consulting firm she built with her husband.
When Mantralogix merged with MNP LLP in 2019, it created the opening for what Jess calls “my spiritual journey.” She embarked on a period of self-reflection, eventually landing on a new career pathway that reflects her lifelong passion for coaching and mentorship. She founded Sequential Balance and in 2021 transitioned into a full time commitment to devote her time to life, executive and business coaching with a key focus on helping young adults launch and build their careers.
“It all goes back to the scholarship and my volunteer work at UTM. My deep interest is being on the ground and helping people one by one figure their stuff out,” she explains.
Jess remembers feeling lost and filled with self-doubt after her own graduation and hopes she can help others overcome those same insecurities. “There’s so much new grads don’t know and no mechanism for learning how to play the corporate game. If you want to get hired, what should your brand look like? How do you communicate and network with others?”
Despite her own uncertain start, she acknowledges that she became “really, really good at the game.” She uses her life experiences—including a switch to commerce from science after her first year at UTM— to help clients wade into challenging discussions about their education, career, health and relationships.
The common thread, she says, is helping people recognize who they really are and to fall in love with themselves. To move from surviving to thriving.
“We assume we’ll be around for the long term and have years to work toward achieving enjoyment,” she says. Her brother’s sudden passing at age 27 taught her otherwise. “He’s the reason I’m so passionate about working with young people. I want to make sure his life continues to inspire and be felt.”