Run Your Own Race

Jonathan Chiriboga, Business Management ’04, MBA ’09
Jonathan Chiriboga (Business Management ’04, MBA ’09) is a Digital Marketing & CRM Lead at McDonald’s Canada. Jonathan shares his passion for marketing, leadership and personal branding at

This month I’ll be celebrating 13 years in the professional workforce. After six companies, two promotions and an MBA somewhere in the middle of all that, I constantly remind myself to run my own race.

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Finding your entrepreneurial niche

Ron Alphonsoa
Ron Alphonso (Retail Management ’81, Business Management ’84, MBA ’09) is a Toronto-based mortgage specialist. He can be found at and on twitter @brokerstore.

I had sold my previous business and was looking to start a new one. I spent about 3 years searching for a business that could make money and have a good growth rate. This included going back to Ryerson to complete my MBA; I felt an MBA would give me a different point of view and help me evaluate my business opportunities.

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Life is too short to hate your job

Denise Chiriboga
Denise Chiriboga (Business ’06) is known as The FitTritionist. She is a personal trainer and holistic nutritionist specializing in building strong moms in pregnancy and postpartum. She is also the creator of Strong Mom™ fitness.

Before I graduated in 2006 with a B.Comm, major in finance and a minor in marketing, I thought I knew exactly what my career path would look like. As it turned out, there’s more to life than an office on Bay Street and the allure of dollar bills.

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Attention baby boomers: Are you ready to reinvent yourself?

John Bell (Business ’68) is the retired CEO of coffee/confectioner Jacobs Suchard. He is a former strategy consultant and the author of The Circumstantial Enemy and Do Less Better: The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World.

There’s a lot written about reinvention these days. Most of the editorials are about companies. The drivers are those who fix their businesses before they break. The passengers are the ones who avoid reinvention for as long as they can, and the roadkill are the companies that never deal with transformation or leave it so late that the business is already toast.
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Best of the blog: A 2017 recap

Tanya Kostiw
Tanya Kostiw (MA, Literatures of Modernity ’13) is the editor of the Alumni Blog and the Marketing and Communications Liaison for the Ryerson University Alumni Association (RUAA). She is the Associate Creative Director at Mayk Ideas.

Whether you’re a new graduate, an established professional or somewhere in between, lifelong learning is something we can all aspire to. Now in its second year, our Alumni Blog has become a valuable source of career advice for alumni, by alumni – a platform to share ideas and build connections. As 2017 comes to close, we’re looking back to our favourite lessons from the past year.
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6 steps to get your dream career

Elis Halenko (Nutrition and Food ’10) is the CEO & Founder of Halenko Creative Agency.

After years of unintentionally complicating my career path, I learned some valuable lessons. I studied Food and Nutrition at Ryerson and went on to work as a clinical dietitian, and later, still within the food industry, in PR/communications and business operations. All the while, even though I enjoyed many aspects of these jobs, I felt lost and unfulfilled. I also had serious misconceptions about the possibilities of my degree.
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4 reasons why collaboration is the way of the future

Jaclyn Patterson (Fashion ‘15) is a self-starter, creator, marketer. She is Co-Founder & Creative Director for UnCo – a fashion startup based in Toronto.

The post-grad real world is both exhilarating and challenging; I’m constantly growing both professionally and personally. Although I graduated in 2015, my learning continued outside the classroom. One of my top takeaways is to think about collaboration more seriously in the workplace. Continue reading “4 reasons why collaboration is the way of the future”

10 hiring tips from an HR insider

Monika Monga
Monika Monga (Business Management ’00; Human Resources Management MA) is a HR professional who has worked in both the public and private sector where she gained experience in recruitment.

People are the foundation of any organization and are essential to the bottom line. I began my career in finance, but after taking a few Human Resources contract roles, my passion grew because of the value it brought to an organization. Continue reading “10 hiring tips from an HR insider”

How new grads can demonstrate value beyond their degrees

Marc Herscovitch (Sociology ’10) is a Senior Market Research Analyst at BrandSpark International, a research consulting firm.

When I am hiring for an entry-level position and see a degree on an application, my first reaction is, “Good. What else?” The reality is that a university degree is simply no longer very unique. There are, in fact, more than twice as many students attending university today as there were in 1980, and the proportion of Canadians with a degree continues to rise sharply every year. While a university degree has always been proven to be an effective baseline for the job market, it is becoming increasingly necessary for graduates to prove their value to employers above and beyond their degrees. Continue reading “How new grads can demonstrate value beyond their degrees”

Creativity beyond the 9-5

Photo courtesy of Studio Bud.

Marijana Miric and Jamie Kwan
Marijana Miric (GCM ’13, MDM ’15) works in Ad Operations for GroupM Canada and Jamie Kwan (Architecture ’13, MDM ’15) is an Experience Designer with FORREC Ltd. They are the co-founders of Studio Bud.

When we’re young, we’re taught to be curious, creative, and confident. Before we “choose” a path, we’re all budding scientists, artists, and innovators. This doesn’t need to end just because you’ve started your career.

In our first year post-graduation, we’ve both been fortunate to have started careers in successful companies that fall within our respective industries. We studied hard, worked hard, and now we’re left dealing with “life” once 5 p.m. hits. That’s why we’ve become advocates for what we call the “creativity happy hour” – the time spent pursuing passion projects in the other 40 hours outside of work. Continue reading “Creativity beyond the 9-5”