Mentoring – the best teacher for school, work, and life in general

By Matthew Schafler

Analyst | Financial Advisory/Service Operations (summer student)

Mentors share their experiences and wisdom with other people to help the next generation navigate their personal and professional aspirations. I’ve been lucky enough to have three strong mentors that have guided—and are still guiding me—through my school, work and personal life.

My first mentor, Mr. Church, came to my high school when I was in grade ten. The material he taught was the same as any other teacher, but it was how he delivered the information that really made him stand out. Mr. Church had traveled the world for three or so years with the goal to step foot on each of the seven continents (I think he still needs to go to Antarctica). In that time he visited more than 50 countries. He ensured that I continued my studies at a good university, and has been a significant part of my educational experience. He has shown me how important it is to travel and understand the world.

I got my first “real job” this year following my frosh year at Queen's University. I started at Deloitte as a true rookie - a good mixture of excited, nervous, and irritated (living at home again with parents is a bit of a culture shock!). I met with Ryan Brain, a Managing Partner at Deloitte, who has shown me how the corporate world of Bay Street operates, and in particular how Deloitte functions. More importantly he has shown me how to plan for the future, and by taking this time with me, he has influenced several of my choices for school next year. He’s a smart guy with a funny side and he has made my three months at the firm a fun and positive learning experience.

My final mentor is my father. He has been a Bay Street lawyer for more than 20 years. I have recently discovered his commitment to mentoring others. His practice involves high profile cases where he has a lot of responsibility, and with the responsibility comes stress and pressure. I see him put away his tension from his job and come home and play with the dog, or watch the game. He started into law with nothing but intelligence and ambition. He now has an 80 hour work week, but he still manages to come home and spend time with his family; a true mentor, someone who teaches with actions instead of words.

These three people have contributed to the choices I have made in my life so far and in doing so they have firmly placed my belief in the value of mentorship towards young people. Everyone can benefit from mentors in their lives, and if you don’t have to do it on your own, why should you?

Matthew was an Analyst summer student on our Financial Advisory/Service Operations team. He is currently completing his Bachelor of Arts, English at Queen’s University.


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