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Events listed below are coordinated by the Arts & Science Alumni Office as well as by various Arts & Science academic units.  For a list of general U of T alumni events, please see the U of T Events Calendar.

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b2B Industry Night – Careers in Business and Finance

November 14 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Thinking about a career in business or finance? Curious as to how to plan your path forward and connect your current studies with a job after graduation? Join us on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, when alumni and students will mix and mingle for a very special b2B.

Careers in business and finance span many areas and offer a variety of career options after graduation. The skills you gain from your Arts & Science degree can be transferred into many opportunities in these fields. This networking reception will be a great opportunity to make these connections and speak with multiple alumni who graduated from the Faculty of Arts & Science and have gone on to pursue a career in business and finance, as well as with fellow U of T students who are also considering this path.

Register Here!


The b2B Industry Night focuses on careers in a specific industry, and offers an opportunity for students to engage with alumni who graduated from the Faculty of Arts & Science, and who are now working in various fields.

Event Objectives

  • Connect students, recent grads, and alumni who are interested in a career in a particular field.
  • Encourage conversations about how an Arts & Science education contributes to a career in the field.
  • Explore career options in order to support a successful transition after graduation.
  • Develop and expand your professional network.
  • Build awareness about the realities of a career in the industry and potential paths to get there.
  • Discover a variety of career stories.


Time Activity
5:30 pm Alumni are invited to arrive, register and mingle.

Refreshments will be provided throughout the evening

6:00 pm Students arrive and register.

Ambassadors will be on hand to introduce students to alumni

6:15 pm Opening remarks

Networking event officially begins

8:00 pm Networking event officially concludes

Event Audience

The b2B Industry Night attendees include students and recent graduates at various stages of their education and career, as well as Arts & Science alumni, including:

  • U of T Arts & Science Alumni currently working in the industry
  • Undergraduate students who are considering a career in the industry and want to learn how their studies will support them beyond graduation
  • Graduate students (MA, MSc, PhD) who are interested in exploring careers in the industry
  • Recent graduates who are looking to continue to develop their networks, professional skills and industry knowledge

Featured Speaker: Samantha Kappagoda 

Samantha Kappagoda is co-Managing Member of Numerati® Partners LLC, which coordinates a data analytics investment and development ecosystem with a mission to curate the next generation of scalable data-intensive risk and liability management enterprises by providing resources that are critical to accelerating the development of nascent leading-edge inferential surveillance, monitoring, and predictive analytics technologies for deployment in the forensic domains of RiskTech, LitTech, FinTech and InsurTech (litigation technology, regulation technology, financial technology and insurance technology).

Samantha is also an investigator at RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics @ NYU Courant, established in 2011 in order to apply a range of computational and analytical methods to commercial, consumer and population-related societal trends; and a Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU.

Previously, she was Senior Economist/global head of analytics at Caxton Associates, a hedge fund investing in global markets across asset classes, with approximately $12 billion of assets under management. Before that, she was an Economist in the Operations Evaluation Department of The World Bank in Washington D.C.

Samantha received an M.B.A. in Analytic Finance and Statistics from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She also holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of Toronto, and a B.Sc. (Honours) in Mathematics from Imperial College, London.

Attending Alumni (Biographies Below): 

  • Grigory Bloch, VP Prime Brokerage Technology North American Lead at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Jason Cawthorn, Vice President, Sourcing Execution and Strategy, TD Bank
  • Philip Cha, Entrepreneur
  • Abdullah Chandna, Equity Research Analyst, Strategic Analysis Corporation
  • Eugene Choi, Management Consultant, Blue-Mark
  • Stephan Dyer, Comedian, MalPensando – Club de Comedia Canada
  • Tanya Furtado, Associate Consultant, IG Wealth Management
  • Julieta Grieco, Senior Learning & Experience Designer, Bank of Montreal
  • Victoria Guo, Associate Director, Scotiabank
  • Grace Hu, Corporate Banking Analyst, Scotiabank, Global Banking and Markets
  • Devansh Jain, Software Engineer, nanopay Corporation
  • Asif Hussain, Partner, CBRE Caledon
  • Kirby James, General Manager Organization Effectiveness, Dynamic Achievement
  • Samantha Kappagoda (keynote), Co-Managing Member, Numerati Partners LLC; Chief Economist, Risk Economics
  • Dhruve Khanna, Manager, Customer Insights Integration, Canadian Tire Corporation
  • Heidi Kinkartz, Director, Global Sanctions, Scotiabank
  • Stephen LeeAssociate, Succession Strategies Group
  • Derek Li, Senior Policy Advisor, Ontario Public Service / Government of Ontario
  • Ksantia Lila, Assurance Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Kushbu Loyal, Director of Entrepreneurship, Keiretsu Forum
  • Lance McIntosh, Chief Financial Officer, Cygnus Investment Partners Inc.
  • Jonathan Mostovoy, Managing Director, Research & Partnerships, RiskLab
  • Akber Nafeh, Sr. Manager Quantitative Analytics, TD Bank Group
  • Florence Narine, Senior Vice President, Head of Product, AGF Investments Inc.
  • Adam Ng, VP, TD Securities
  • Laura Pacheco, Vice President, Research and Education FEI Canada
  • Meera Pandya, Senior Executive Recruiter, Financial Services & Real Estate, Korn Ferry
  • Timothy Pinnell, Director, Corporate Actions and Income, CIBC Mellon
  • Monika Piotrowicz, User Experience Director, Shopify
  • Adam Rodgers, Technological Support Specialist, Business Cloud
  • Yana Staroverova, Analyst, Global Banking, HSBC
  • Sylvia Stinson, Chief Financial Officer, Caldwell Investment Management Ltd.
  • Mai Tran, Market Development Representative, Ritual
  • Ian Tripp, Sales Manager, GlassHouse Systems Inc.
  • Victoria Wilkes, Associate, KPMG Corporate Finance Inc.
  • Peter Wong, Senior Auditor, University of Toronto
Biographies of Alumni Guests

Alumni Guests


Grigory Bloch
VP Prime Brokerage Technology North American Lead at Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Grigory graduated from the University of Toronto with an Hon. BSc in Computer Science: Software Engineering and Economics: Corp Finance. During his time at U of T he took part in CSSU, Judo Club, Hillel and even AEPi.

Grigory started working at a boutique software consulting company that took him to the trading floors of New York within a year.
During his 12 year period in the US Grigory, among other things, lead the development of the world’s top foreign exchange trading platform, assisted a Fortune 40 company to establish its technology headquarters, helped a FinTech establish itself in North America and founded an office in Raleigh, North Carolina for his consulting company.

Grigory recently returned to Toronto, where he leads valuation and risk technology for Merrill Lynch Bank of America’s North American Prime brokerage business.

On a personal note, Grigory has lived in 4 countries and continues to travel as much as possible exploring new lands, cuisines and languages.


Jason Cawthorn
Vice President, Sourcing Execution and Strategy, TD Bank

Jason Cawthorn is the Vice President and Head of Sourcing Execution & Strategy within the Strategic Sourcing Group at TD Bank. In this role, he is accountable for the overall category sourcing strategy, as well as leading the operationalization of procurement requests from intake through to fulfillment, ensuring standardized, efficient and consistent service levels.

Prior to joining TD, Jason held procurement leadership roles in EDS, Hewlett-Packard, Agrega (ABInBev and BAT) and Ever Corporation, where he was responsible for sourcing categories across many industries and globally across over 170 countries. With nearly 20 years’ experience in procurement, Jason brings both procurement expertise and thought leadership to the table.

Jason is also a board member of the Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council.

Philip Cha

Phil was a part of VUSAC at Victoria College, the Hart House, House committee, and was a part of CASAS. He also helped run the UofT Habitat for Humanity Group and the Scarlet and Gold Martial Arts Club. For his service he was a proud recipient of the Gordon Cressy award. He did a lot of random activities but really took advantage of the enabling community at UofT. After graduation his friend’s parents, who created Degrassi High, gifted him some airplane tickets around the world for a year. He then travelled for about 10 years and did a Tedx talk on his experiences at Waterloo University. He continued to work random jobs until he ended up opening Riddle Room, a game cafe and escape room, at Yonge and Wellesley. This led to other opportunities. He now also owns a board game company, co-owns an archery tag business, and is an executive producer for an upcoming documentary: Barista 2. He doesn’t have a lot of answers and he’s far from rich, but he has a lot of experiences if you’d like to learn from them.


Abdullah Chandna
Equity Research Analyst, Strategic Analysis Corporation

I completed a Bachelor of Arts in 2017, with a major in Economics and minors in Statistical Science and Political Science. I have been working as an equity research analyst at Strategic Analysis Corporation, a capital markets research and advisory firm, since my graduation. My interests were better defined towards the latter half of my life at university, as courses became concentrated and the amount of options increased. I am also currently pursuing a the CFA designation, and am a Level 2 candidate for the June 2019 exam.


Eugene Choi
Management Consultant, Blue-Mark

Eugene is currently a management consultant at Blue-Mark, where he advises leaders at top Canadian financial institutions on strategic and transformational initiatives. He previously led the development of the strategic vision and five-year roadmap at Travelers, a Fortune 500 insurance company.

Eugene graduated with distinction in 2012 with an Honours BA in Philosophy and Ethics, Society, and Law. He joined Travelers in 2013 as a systems tester while also pursuing continuing education in project management and risk management. By 2016, Eugene was managing multi-million dollar projects for Travelers, but he recognized that he needed a business education to continue taking on more impactful opportunities. He decided to pursue his MBA part-time at the Rotman School of Management and is due to graduate in 2019. His education at Rotman enabled him to shift into corporate strategy and management consulting. By continuing to pursue lifelong learning, Eugene has been able to take advantage of greater opportunities as they arose. Within five years, Eugene has gone from typing test data into corporate systems to serving as a trusted advisor for VPs in Canada’s top financial institutions.




Stephan Dyer
omedian, MalPensando – Club de Comedia Canada

Stephan Dyer is a bilingual, award-winning stand up comedian with more than 200 shows in 6 countries, 14 cities. His weekly shows in Spanish and English in Toronto, sold out Spanish comedy workshops, as well as his numerous awards in Public Speaking by Toastmasters International earned him the Latin Comedian of the Year Prize by Latin Awards Canada (2017). Stephan recently received a full-scholarship for Second City’s Diversity Fellowship Program – a master professional development program in improvisation and comedy – and is currently nominated for “Best Latin Comedian 2018” by Latin Awards Canada and Caribbean Awards Canada.

Stephan also co-founded @MalPensando, the first and only Spanish Comedy & Public Speaking school in Canada. In October 2018, Stephan will be kicking off his 3rd international Stand Up Comedy tour through 7 cities in Mexico, Central and South America. For more info, follow @stephandyer everywhere!


Tanya Furtado
Associate Consultant, IG Wealth Management



Julieta Grieco
Senior Learning & Experience Designer, Bank of Montreal

After completing my undergraduate degree in European Studies, Italian and Philosophy, I started working in the corporate sector and exploring ways to engage with some of my passions, including teaching, learning and design. Given my desire to create a meaningful career in the field of adult education, 2 years after graduating from my undergrad, I decided to go back to school at OISE (U of T) to complete my masters in the department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education. Since then I worked in various roles, starting from my role at Rotman as a Career Services Coordinator and recruitment support, to becoming an Instructional Designer in the corporate sector. Currently, I am at Bank of Montreal working as a Senior Learning & Experience Designer. In this role, I engage in design thinking, relationship building and project management to create impactful learning experiences for our sales workforce and improve their performance.


Victoria Guo
Associate Director, Scotiabank


Grace Hu
Corporate Banking Analyst, Scotiabank, Global Banking and Markets

Grace graduated from the University of Toronto in 2017 with a double major in Biochemistry and Physiology. While at UofT, she conducted clinical research within the Faculty of Medicine, exploring the effects of genetic mutations on cardiovascular health. Having spent a year abroad in Asia and Europe, Grace decided to pivot into an interdisciplinary career. Currently, she is working at Scotiabank as a Corporate Banking Analyst, focusing on a portfolio targeted towards healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology firms. Having also worked in government in a financial capacity, Grace decided to pursue her MBA and CPA in preparation to transition into her assurance role at one of the Big 4 next year.

When she’s not running around from meeting-to-meeting, you’ll find Grace planning her next vacation, swimming at the AC, and curating her Instagram feed.




Devansh Jain
Software Engineer, nanopay Corporation

Devansh has worked at Accenture as a Financial Analyst, and currently works as a Software Engineer at nanopay, a payments company in Toronto. He has also enjoyed stints in a number of different industries on his way to his current job, and will be happy to share his experience on trying different careers and finding what really works for you.


Kirby James
General Manager Organization Effectiveness, Dynamic Achievement

Kirby’s purpose in life is to help people and organizations realize and achieve their potential. To achieve that goal, Kirby serves as an accomplished keynote speaker, author, facilitator, educator, board member and operational excellence executive. A passionate advocate for diversity, Kirby’s work focusses on building cultures of excellence to deliver sustainable, high quality value.

Kirby has served on numerous Boards, is an educator teaching Communicating with Impact to PhD’s at universities across Ontario and Board Governance /Operations for the Canadian Board Diversity Council in their Fellow in Board Governance certification program. As well, Kirby delivers workshops on Mindset for Excellence, Building Cultures of Excellence, Vertical Decision Making and Building Resilience.

A University of Toronto graduate in with a HBSc specializing in neuroscience, Kirby obtained his Masters of Health Science from the U of T Faculty of Medicine with postgraduate studies in Strategic Change management (Rotman School), Systems Dynamics (MIT), Finance (McGill), a Master Black Belt in LeanSigma (BMG) and coaching (Structural Consulting Certification Program). As well, Kirby trains and teaches in Tae Kwon Do where he holds a 3rd degree black belt and has his own YouTube channel.


Samantha Kappagoda (keynote speaker)
Co-Managing Member, Numerati Partners LLC; Chief Economist, Risk Economics
Samantha Kappagoda

Samantha Kappagoda is Co-Managing Member of Numerati® Partners LLC, which coordinates a data analytics and development ecosystem with the mission of advancing and fostering the next generation of scalable data-intensive risk and liability management enterprises. The firm provides resources that are fundamental to accelerating the development of nascent leading-edge inferential surveillance, monitoring, and predictive analytics technologies for deployment within RiskTech: risk technologies associated with adaptive distributed, networked and embedded systems such as remote sensing, agent-oriented data analytics, computing and control systems. Numerati Partners curates integrated RiskTech solutions as well as forensic and use-case applications in RiskTech sub-domains such as LitTech, RegTech, FinTech and InsurTech (litigation technology, regulation technology, financial technology and insurance technology).

Samantha Kappagoda is also an investigator at the RiskEcon® Lab for Decision Metrics @ Courant Institute of Mathematical Science at New York University (NYU), established in 2011 in order to apply a range of computational and analytical methods to commercial, consumer and population-related societal trends. She leads research efforts in the domains of consumer behavior, socieconomic/demographic trends and income distribution. She is also a Visiting Scholar at Courant Institute, and associated with the Social Media and Political Participation Lab (SMaPP) at NYU, an interdisciplinary collaboration that investigates the relationships between social media and political behavior.

Previously, she was Senior Economist at Caxton Associates, a hedge fund established in 1983, investing in global fixed income, currencies, commodities and equities. She was a key member of Caxton Global, the firm’s flagship global macro fund, which, at its peak, had approximately $12 billion of assets under management. Her macroeconomic and demographic analytics and development of proprietary econometric models of financial markets, the global economy, central bank and related policy actions guided the firm’s senior decision makers during her thirteen-year tenure there.

Prior to working in the financial markets, Samantha was an Economist in the Operations Evaluation Department of the World Bank in Washington, D.C., focusing on building computable general equilibrium models, in order to analyze the bank’s loan portfolio across emerging market countries.

Samantha pursues her broader research interests by serving as a senior editorial advisory board member of The Journal of Risk Finance (JRF), an Emerald Publications journal which provides a rigorous forum for the publication, both by academics and practitioners, of theoretical and empirical research related to the financing of risk, with a long-standing focus on issues of market convergence. She was originally the founding Managing Editor of JRF in 1999, initially published by Euromoney Institutional Investor, before its successful sale to its current publisher. She has also served as Special Editor for Risk Management, for The Journal of Alternative Investments, another Institutional Investor journal.

Samantha received an M.B.A. in Analytic Finance and Statistics from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She also holds an M.A. in Economics with concentrations in Industrial Organization and Monetary Economics from the University of Toronto and graduated with a B.Sc. (Honours) in Mathematics from Imperial College, London.

Her biography has been published in the Marquis’ Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance and Business (formerly Who’s Who in Finance and Industry), Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders, Who’s Who of American Women, and Canadian Who’s Who (Grey House Publishing). In 2013, she was honored by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York as a Woman of Distinction, for her activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Samantha currently serves as a member of the board of directors of three not-for-profit organizations: Council for Economic Education, an organization that delivers economic education and financial literacy to K-12 students by educating the educators; Glynwood, which focuses on sustainable agriculture and regional food systems; and subsequent to being honored by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, she has joined their board. Samantha is also a member of the leadership council of Black Rock Forest Consortium, a 4,000-acre natural living laboratory for field-based scientific research and education, operated by a consortium of twenty-three colleges and universities, public and independent schools, and scientific and cultural institutions.

Samantha has lived and worked in New York, Washington D.C., Toronto, Ottawa and London, and has also lived in Singapore, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.


Dhruve Khanna
Manager, Customer Insights Integration, Canadian Tire Corporation

Dhruve is a business and analytics strategy professional with a strong background in enabling data-driven solutions such as customer 360; tailored marketing; operational excellence; risk management, etc. by directly supporting business needs for information and analytics


Heidi Kinkartz
Director, Global Sanctions, Scotiabank

Heidi graduated, with distinction, from St. Michaels College with a B.A. in German and History. She went on to obtain an LL.B. from York University and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1993.

Heidi has spent her professional life in the financial services industry. The initial years of her career were spent practicing law in-house in a life insurance company and subsequently in a bank. In the latter role, she expanded her insurance experience to include a retail banking practice.

More recently, Heidi has spent almost ten years in a compliance function where she is the Director, Global Sanctions at Scotiabank, leading a team of compliance professionals. The role provides an opportunity to apply her legal skills in a context that takes advantage of her interest in foreign affairs, history and other cultures. Every day presents new and interesting challenges given evolving world events and the impact of foreign policy measures on sanctions compliance.

In her spare time, Heidi enjoys yoga, walking and especially travelling. She has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit regions on every continent except Antarctica . . . the latter ultimately not to be excluded, as it remains a travel destination on her bucket list!


Stephen Lee
Associate, Succession Strategies Group

As I continue on my career journey, I like to take the opportunity to reflect and share my experiences to students, recent graduates and fellow U of T alumni when possible. Having a 15+ year career in the financial services field, it has taught me many lessons since graduating…. be nimble, be confident and embrace change and see where opportunities exist in the ever changing landscape. The financial service workplace has changed so much in the past 10 years, and will continue to change as regulation, competition and technology continues to provide disruption throughout the industry. I’ve worked for the largest of banks, to private firms, partnerships and independent businesses and each have their own unique dynamics which you will need to identify what structure will suit you best. I challenge you to consider your own career path and to recognize that it is a journey, not just a destination.


Derek Li
Senior Policy Advisor, Ontario Public Service / Government of Ontario

Derek is an award-winning, high performing, and results-oriented Senior Policy Advisor who champions policy and solutions co-creation, and solving problems collaboratively to achieve greater efficiencies and better outcomes for government services and programs. Derek previously had a successful management career in the global (both in New York and Hong Kong) investment banking industry where he specialized in Private Equity, and Equities and Fixed Income trading for 7 years.


Ksantia Lila
Assurance Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers

I recently graduated Rotman Commerce in June 2017, and am pursuing the CPA designation. I currently work at PwC as an Assurance Associate, specifically in the financial services industry. Apart from reading numbers, I love spending time with my family and friends, hiking with my dog, cooking, catching up on TV shows, and traveling.


Kushbu Loyal
Director of Entrepreneurship, Keiretsu Forum

I worked after graduation at the OICR on the Ontario Health Study platform. From there, I went back to school to complete my MSc. in Neuroscience and gained a prestigious internship at the Ontario Brain Institute on the Industry Relations team. From there I moved into angel investments and venture capital for Life Sciences companies and beyond! It has been a whirlwind of a journey but UofT prepared me to make difficult decisions, take chances and deal with real-world stresses. If I could go back, I’d do it all again!


Lance McIntosh
Chief Financial Officer, Cygnus Investment Partners Inc.

Mr. McIntosh has more than 40 years of experience in senior management, corporate finance and accounting. Lance has specific expertise in financial operations management, financial administration and control, M&A, and both project and acquisition financing. Mr. McIntosh has held senior financial positions with a number of significant private and public corporations. He has, among other things, overseen the financial operations, the corporate development function, and the ‘going public’ process for two major Canadian corporations.

Over 10 years, ending in 2012, he developed and managed from start-up a group of unique business entities/operations and the corporate/operating infrastructure required to support the entire diverse group. As Senior Financial Advisor to this unique group of entities, he nurtured and oversaw the growth of an organic farm; a hydro-electric power generation group; an investment bank; and, the Paloma Foundation – all from original concept to fully functioning operating entities.

Lance began his business career as a student-in-accounts with Price Waterhouse & Co. and received his designation as a chartered accountant in 1977. He is currently a member in good standing of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and of Canada.

He graduated cum laude, receiving his H.B.A. from Trinity College, University of Toronto.

Jonathan Mostovoy
Managing Director, Research & Partnerships, RiskLab

Jonathan Mostovoy is the Managing Director for Research & Partnerships at RiskLab Toronto, and a Ph.D. Candidate for Mathematics at the University of Toronto. While his research interests now focus on pure mathematics, Jonathan comes from an academic background in applied mathematics, economics, statistics, and finance. Jonathan’s professional experience includes working on Capula Investment Management’s trading floor – the largest relative value hedge fund in the world.


Akber Nafeh
Sr. Manager Quantitative Analytics, TD Bank Group

Akber is currently a senior manager-quantitative analytics at TD Bank Group where he oversees the integration of mathematical tools to facilitate data driven business solutions. Akber hold a master’s degree in economics from UofT.


Florence Narine
Senior Vice President, Head of Product, AGF Investments Inc.

Ms. Narine is Senior Vice-President and Head of Product at AGF Investments Inc. She is responsible for the overall strategic management of AGF products across all global business lines including product management and development, strategic market research, and planning and leading the launch of several successful and innovative products.

Prior to joining AGF, Ms. Narine worked at CIBC Wood Gundy and Fidelity Canada. While at Fidelity, she served as Director, Product Solutions, leading the charge on a number of notable product launches, then joined the firm’s institutional efforts as Director, Institutional Investments. algorithmic trading solutions.

Ms. Narine earned her MBA from the Rotman School of Management and has continued to expand her leadership style through the Initiative for Women in Business. She is a participant and contributor to both PEN Canada and HotDocs, organizations committed to literary and journalistic freedom. Ms. Narine also believes in the value of giving back, so continues to be an active mentor to the students at both University of Toronto and the Rotman School of Management, as well as the Toronto CFA Society.


Adam Ng
VP, TD Securities

Formerly VP, on Quantitative Engineering and Development, Global Fixed Income, Currency and Metal Trading
Currently VP, on Data Strategy and Analytics, Fixed Income, Currency, and Metal Distribution and Product Innovation

Both with TD Securities


Laura Pacheco
Vice President, Research and Education
FEI Canada

Laura Pacheco is a business and finance leader with an established foundation in finance, and deep understanding in marketing operations, project management and market research acquired through 20+ years in various industries. Laura Pacheco is the Vice President, Research and Education at FEI Canada. She oversees FEI Canada’s research studies produced by the Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation (CFERF), and manages strategic partnerships in driving and promoting thought leadership at FEI Canada. Laura earned her MBA from Dalhousie University, Bachelor of Education from Brock, and Honours BA in Economics & Political Science from the University of Toronto. She holds the CPA designation and certificates from the Burke Institute in Quantitative Analysis and Market Research Methodology. A lifelong learner, Laura is currently working towards a Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainability from the University of Toronto – University of St Michael’s College.

Laura currently serves on many boards and advisory committees in the community, including the Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs, as well as the advisory committee of the School of Business accounting program at Centennial College.


Meera Pandya
Senior Executive Recruiter, Financial Services & Real Estate, Korn Ferry

Meera Pandya earned a Hons. B.A. (1999) from the U of T, with a major in Sociology and a minor in Anthropology & History.

Meera has an unusual path for a graduate of the Faculty of Arts & Science.  She has 15+ years of experience in finance, accounting and client management, spanning diversified industries: banking, technology and non-profit.

She began her career at a major mutual funds company providing broker and client support, then shifted into Institutional Portfolio Accounting and Fund Accounting.  After leaving finance, Meera worked in Major Accounts with a global print technology firm.  Leveraging her financial acumen, she moved into Financial Analyst positions with two of Canada’s largest non-profit foundations.

At this time, Meera is very excited to be working in a field she knows is her real calling:  Executive Recruitment.  She’s found the perfect career cocktail, allowing her to utilize her people-oriented personality, her educational background, and her past work experiences.  Meera focuses on the financial services and real estate sector in Canada and the US.

She strongly believes in actively listening to clients and candidates to develop a true understanding of what they are seeking.   She looks forward to being the poster child to illustrate that a winding career path, with many bumps and stops, can still lead to a fulfilling destination.

Sidebar:  Meera’s daughter is currently an undergrad in the Faculty of Arts & Science at U of T.



Timothy Pinnell
Director, Corporate Actions and Income, CIBC Mellon

I have 15 years experience in Custody Operations in progressive roles in Trade Settlements, Corporate Actions and Income. In addition to U of T I have completed business certificates from Ryerson University and completed my MBA at the Edinburgh Business School (distance program).


Monika Piotrowicz
User Experience Director, Shopify

Was a commuter but made friends with folks in residence to meet a circle of lifelong friends I’m still in touch with. Attended St. Mike’s College and was active in SMC social life, hung out a lot at Kelly and was a frost volunteer for two years. After graduating I attended a post grad certificate at Humber College in web development and after a year got my start in tech. Became a manager soon after.


Adam Rodgers
Technological Support Specialist, Business Cloud

I graduated from UofT with a Bachelors of Arts & Science and moved to South Korea to teach English for three years. I returned to Toronto to complete a Masters of Education and then worked at an Edu Tech startup as a Academic Manager. Recently I have transitioned into the Business Technology field with the company Business Cloud.


Yana Staroverova
Analyst, Global Banking, HSBC

Yana has graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Statistics, Economics & Mathematics in June 2017. Shortly after graduation, she has started her career as a Credit Risk Measurement Analyst at one of the Canadian Big 6 banks which gave her a solid foundation to make a switch to Corporate/Investment Banking. 


Sylvia Stinson
Chief Financial Officer, Caldwell Investment Management Ltd.

I graduated with a BComm from UofT in 1984. I articled with Clarkson Gordon (now Ernst & Young) and received my CA (now CPA) in 1987. I worked at Middlefield Group, an investment management firm, for 28 years progressing to become the CFO and Executive VP. I was also the CFO of Middlefield’s securities dealer firm, a registrant with IIROC. I have worked for Caldwell for the past two years as the CFO of Urbana Corporation, a TSX-listed investment company.


Mai Tran
Market Development Representative, Ritual

I wasn’t always planning on working in fashion but an internship opportunity during my experiential learning course at Innis College’s Urban Studies Program introduced me to Canada’s vibrant fashion and retail community. Since beginning my career at Town Shoes, I spent two years in London working for Muji Europe and Coach Europe. After five years working in fashion and retail, I decided to make a big change and recently joined the inside sales team at Ritual. It’s a very exciting time to be part of the tech community in Toronto!


Ian Tripp
Sales Manager, GlassHouse Systems Inc.

I was a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant during my Psychology undergrad years. After completing my MBA, I worked for IBM Canada in Sales, Education, Finance.  Briefly retired from IBM after 35 years, where I volunteered tremendously.  I’ve since exited retirement and now am employed both as a Personal Finance Educator, and am a Sales Manager for a small IBM Business Partner.


Victoria Wilkes
Associate, KPMG Corporate Finance Inc. 

Victoria has a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge, UK. While at UofT and Cambridge, she conducted research developing quantitative models to investigate individual and group strategic interactions under uncertainty and to understand the dynamics of social and economic networks. After graduating, Victoria worked as a Technology Risk Consultant at KPMG, before moving into her current role with KPMG Corporate Finance Inc., focusing on Mergers & Acquisitions advisory.


Peter Wong
Senior Auditor, University of Toronto

A Senior Auditor with over 14 years of experience at the University of Toronto with expertise in financial management, risk analysis and operational reviews. I have completed my undergrate degree in Genetics and Economics, and changed my career completely after graduation.



Backpack to Briefcase is proudly sponsored by U of T’s Affinity Partner:


November 14
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories:


Hart House – Music Room
7 Hart House Circle
Toronto, Canada
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