Alumni Profile : Sylvain Gratton

Financial Manager, SNC-Lavalin

Tell us briefly about yourself.

I grew up in the country on the North Shore of Montreal. I initially began university in market finance, and then changed course to study accounting. Since these two fields are closely related, my training was, and continues to be, the cornerstone of my professional success.

After successfully completing the UFE, I accepted a full-time position in 2005 with Deloitte’s Assurance and advisory practice. I continued to pursue my career with the firm by working at the London, England, office for two years, from 2007 to 2009. The timing of my arrival on European soil was perfect, and it allowed me to acquire and develop my IFRS knowledge. I quickly learned to appreciate football, English pubs and European architecture. I also had the opportunity to experience London at the height of the 2008 financial storm.

In addition to my passion for my work, my other two great passions are cycling and maple-sugaring. These two activities definitely complement my work, as they allow me to escape to the country on weekends!

What was the high point of your career at Deloitte?

In a sense, my time at Deloitte confirmed my desire to excel and the satisfaction I get from helping people develop.

What are you doing now? What do you enjoy most about your role?

For almost two years now, I have been the financial manager of the external disclosure team at SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

The group’s diverse activities lead me from one challenge to the next in no time. As a manager, I therefore have to act and respond very quickly—there’s no time to settle into a routine!

How would you describe the recipe for your success?

In most cases, success is dependent on your immediate environment. One of the main ingredients is to be well surrounded on a professional level and, obviously, to be able to contribute to the success of your colleagues. That’s how to achieve balance and ensure everyone benefits.

What is the best advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I ever received was from a former colleague who told me: "If you have to live with a bad decision, better it be yours." In other words, mistakes are inevitable, but the worst, in my opinion, is indecision and status quo, which only lead to stagnation and, ultimately, regression.

Did you find this useful?