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Rob Khazzam, HBA ’09: Tips for finding your path

  • Robin Tory
  • |
  • Nov 26, 2018
Rob Khazzam, HBA ’09: Tips for finding your path

Rob Khazzam, HBA ’09, General Manager at Uber Canada

Robin Tory is a 2020 HBA and MIT dual-degree candidate. She attended the 2018 Ivey Leaders Forum, a two-day conference for HBA1s, which ran November 22-23 and was presented by the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership.  Below she blogs about the lessons learned from Rob Khazzam, General Manager at Uber Canada, who was one of the keynote speakers.

Rob Khazzam, HBA ’09, General Manager at Uber Canada, kicked off the opening ceremonies at the 2018 Ivey Leaders Forum on November 22 with an important message: Finding your path in life is never linear. He taught us that opening doors and seizing new opportunities can prove to be a winding, but very fulfilling journey.

HBA students had the opportunity to learn about Khazzam’s time at Ivey, as well as his experience in a career that embraces disruption.

Khazzam said two important qualities define who he is today: perseverance and resilience.

Perseverance pays off

He told how finding a job was difficult during the 2008 financial crisis, but he persevered through it. After 135 job applications and never-ending networking, he built himself up and found a job in private equity, where he worked for five years.

And his career didn’t end there. The rest of his journey was equally inspiring. Khazzam said he never felt bound by a job and took a number of calculated risks during his life to get to where he is today.

A story of resilience

Prior to embarking on his new job at Uber, Khazzam said he was terrified and uncertain of his future. But he also knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that he couldn’t turn down.

He offered us this inspiring quote to explain what motivated him at the time:

“When you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask where your seat is, just get on the rocket ship,” he said.

This metaphor was empowering because it truly explained that the only way to conquer your fears is to run after them. He showed us that personal courage and internal mindsets are everything in life.

Through challenging experiences, Khazzam learned how to be a better leader, motivate others, and also how to build his own personal character. He did so by learning the importance of self-help and personal care.

By conquering his fears during a time of disruption, and challenging himself every step of his life, he has found himself committed to one of the leading companies in the sharing economy.