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Job Title
Senior Consultant, Talent & Engagement
IBM Canada
Gillian  Fischer

Gillian, what would you say was the craziest or most unique experience you have had while vacationing?

My father joined me last summer in Europe to hike the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. This hike was a 170 km trip around the mountain that passes through France, Italy and Switzerland and consisted of thousands of feet of climbing and some of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen during my life. Every day was packed with what felt to be a lifetime of adventures. Every peak, riverbed, and valley offered something different and surreal to us. Our favourite part of the adventure was the refuges that provided a warm meal and a hard cot to 20-50 hikers each night.  The small refuges would be crammed with people enjoying a beer and communicating in any way possible with the person next to them – usually through a mixture of hand signals, sounds, and the limited words they knew of each other’s language. This trip far surpassed any father and daughter trip I could have ever asked for- it was the best.


There are many compelling reasons to undertake an Executive MBA Program. What is your goal for the Telfer Executive MBA Program?

My goal of the program is to gain the skills and confidence necessary to take on future leadership roles throughout my career. Additionally, I hope to learn from every single person in the program. It is such a diverse group of individuals and there is so much I can learn from my peers, especially those who work in different industries and functional areas. Finally, I have a long term goal to teach at the post-secondary level and hope that this program acts as one of the many stepping stones on my way to achieving this goal.


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

I admire good listening skills, the ability to provide constructive feedback, and strong storytelling abilities in a mentor. I appreciate being able to openly communicate with my mentor, share my concerns and receive and honest constructive feedback. Furthermore, I tend to learn best through listening their experiences through storytelling.  Although it may seem a bit strange, a mentor who can teach a lesson through storytelling is extremely valuable to me.

I am very fortunate to have such a strong mentor in my life today. Not only has my mentor listened when I needed an ear, but has also put a lot of effort into my own personal development, including strongly supporting my decision to apply to the Telfer Executive MBA program.

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