It’s opportunities to meet business people like Jim Derbyshire, Mentor-in-Residence, that truly define the power and depth of the SFU community. Vancouver is often thought of as a small town, with few global career opportunities and a limited network to the outside world. Jim Derbyshire, hailing from the UK, and who has grown companies in the UK, New Zealand and Ottawa, Canada, would completely disagree. Jim is a Mentor-in-Residence for Simon Fraser University’s (Vancouver) Venture Connection Network. Throughout his nearly 35 year career, Jim has been a serial entrepreneur, Angel Investor, CEO, Mentor, and Consultant in several different industries and vocations. Jim has a very large global network and knowledge base which he is more than happy to share with the SFU students who attend his one-on-one advising sessions. Read more about my experience in an advising session with Jim:
A bit about me: Two years ago, when I first decided to enroll in an MBA program, I had to make the very tough decision about what school to attend. For me, the most important criteria for the chosen program was opportunity cost of lost time in the workforce, and the depth of the institution’s career network. I ended up choosing the SFU Graduate Business School’s full-time MBA because it clearly met both of these criteria. The full-time MBA is a one-year program that is taken at the same school that teaches Vancouver’s longest standing Executive MBA program. The alumni network that graduates from SFU Business have access to is truly remarkable, and through a basic search in linked-in, this fact is clearly demonstrated. In addition to this potential career network, individuals like Jim Derbyshire round out the career advising side of the program by offering information-rich, actionable sessions to help students with entrepreneurial desires obtain a head-start in their career.
Personally, I went into the program with the intention of being an entrepreneur and starting my own company around 5 years after graduation. After speaking with Jim this past week, I may accelerate that process and begin operating my own business even earlier.Being an entrepreneur is in my blood; my father is a serial entrepreneur in the bio sciences industry, and my mother started her own conference services company which she has led for over 25 years. Since my passion lies in the realm of internet marketing and social media, I decided to approach Jim with a request for advice on how to setup my own consulting business. I have never met a man who could deliver so much information, including names, costs, and even ideas, from the top of his head. Admittedly my request was simple, and he likely advises students with similar requests on a daily basis, but it was the care and passion he put into the advice that really struck me. Besides talking about the how I might go about starting my own business, he also gave me advice about networking groups, individuals who I should contact, and ideas about marketing in a cash efficient way.
The current government in British Columbia favors small business and start-ups, so this may be a good time to get my consulting company off the ground. Don’t worry, my focus will still be on bringing unique, usable content to A Few Good Minds. Stay posted daily for new advice on how to get into great MBA programs, living in Vancouver, and all else MBA and Graduate Business related.