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Salim, when you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? Since childhood, I have interest for quests and a great fascination for the sea and the outdoors. My dream was to become an explorer. There are many compelling reasons to undertake
Hugo Lafontaine

What is your favourite vacation destination Hugo? Do you have any suggestions on local cuisine, accommodations or landmarks that one should visit?

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to many countries such as Brazil, Morocco, and countries throughout Europe, but my favorite trips are the ones I have taken across Canada and that have involved long hours on my bike. It is not the destination which matters for me but the actual journey itself. For example, while crossing the Rockies, every smell and sound could be absorbed while slowly moving towards my final destination. Even the odd encounter with bears on the road forms a good memory in my mind. Lake Louise is one landmark that I recall being quite breathtaking and well-worth the grueling climb!


Choosing to complete an Executive MBA is a big consideration. After reviewing the various masters’ programs available, why did you choose to enroll in the Telfer Executive MBA Program?

I ended up enjoying a prolonged layover in a Brazilian airport during one of my business trips last fall. While waiting for my flight I found myself sitting beside a CEO/founder of an oil related company from Calgary. We ended up discussing the factors that had influenced his life and career including how the experience he had gained from his Executive MBA was a big part of his success in his current position. I had considered pursuing an MBA over the past few years and this conversation was the turning point in helping me decide to enroll. Finding out that I had access to the Telfer Executive MBA Program here in Ottawa was the final ingredient I needed to make my decision.


What do you admire in a leader or mentor? Do you have someone who you consider a strong leader or mentor within your life?

True leaders and mentors have the ability to naturally motivate people by focusing their energy towards a common goal. Only a few people have influenced me in such a profound way that even decades later their words still dictate some of my decisions today. One of these great mentors was my father who always took the time to explain the ‘why’ behind his response.

Originally Posted: October 27, 2014

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