OpenRoad Driver Volume 13 Issue 1 - Page 8

8 » OpenRoad Driver PUBLISHER’S NOTE » This edition of OpenRoad Driver is dedicated to the theme, Leap. It reminds me of something I said to a group of graduates recently, where I was honoured to speak to the MBA graduating class of Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. When asked to speak, it struck me that the new graduates would be facing the school of life soon. So, I decided to talk about the five questions that they don’t ask you in business school (actually, six). I wanted to share some of my views on taking risks, building relationships and trusting your instincts: the “other side” of the MBA. Going back 28 years when I attended Sauder as a student, I remember Professor Giammarino teaching my class the BlackScholes option pricing model. The faculty certainly trained us well. Look before you leap. And soon after graduation, I got the call from a top-five Canadian bank to join their new investment arm in Toronto. Everything was going according to plan. But after analyzing countless balance sheets for countless companies just in the first few weeks, my heart wasn’t in it. I was certainly willing to work hard and pay my dues, but my heart told me that it wasn’t the right fit, and so ultimately I left after only three months. I recall how lonely it was sitting at a Greek taverna with a commerce degree that couldn’t even pay for my uneaten souvlaki. What to do next? I did what most people would do when they’re desperate and need comforting... I went to Japan! In a brief moment of insanity, I had accepted a position as a lowly trainee at Toyota Motor Corporation in Tokyo. Twenty million people, and I didn’t speak a word of Japanese. I felt terrified... and exhilarated. Exactly two and a half years after I had first landed in Tokyo, my broken Japanese and I started my very first business. China beckoned as well, and there, I had no Mandarin-speaking ability whatsoever either. At least I was consistent in my business approach! But what I did know, was that China would soon have a huge appetite for cars. I could feel it, and that launched my trajectory today. Leap before you look. Today, I’m older and expected to be a bit wiser. Plus I have dependents, so I’m not so sure I could take any of that crazy risk again. But as the saying goes, there’s a right time and place... Now back to the current reality: this exciting issue of OpenRoad Driver magazine. Someone who leaps - literally - is Tiffany Foster. She graces our cover with her st