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Five pieces of advice from Michael Murphy, HBA ’02

  • Grant McNaughton
  • |
  • Dec 17, 2018
Five pieces of advice from Michael Murphy, HBA ’02

Photo by Nation Wong for Intouch Magazine

Grant McNaughton is an HBA2 student and Co-President of the Ivey Pride student club. He wrote a blog about Michael Murphy’s recent visit to Ivey, and the five pieces of advice Murphy shared.

In the HBA1 curriculum, students hear from a variety of speakers through Professional Development periods. As Co-President of Ivey Pride, I had the opportunity to sit in on Michael Murphy’s talk with HBA1 students.

Murphy is the Marketing Director for Avenue Road, and volunteers as a board director with Rainbow Railroad, a registered charity that helps LGBT people escape violence and persecution around the world.

He spoke to us about his experience in marketing and his work for Rainbow Railroad. Below, I’ve highlighted five pieces of advice I took away from his talk.

There’s a life outside consulting and investment banking.

These industries receive a lot of attention at Ivey, but Murphy stressed that it’s far more important to do something you enjoy. Not every career will be right for you, he said. As a student, he started a painting business and realized entrepreneurship wasn’t the career path for him.

Use the Ivey network.

Find an industry you’re interested in, look people up in the alumni database, and reach out to them. Be genuine. Make connections and form relationships. Not everybody thrives in info sessions. Making these connections can help you understand an industry in more depth.

Murphy also recommended students try talking to people who are in different fields. Broaden your horizons and don’t write something off without learning about it first.

Your job function is more valuable than your job title.

Always have an outcome in the role you are in, as it will help you build a story for the future, Murphy said. It’s important to carve out a niche skillset. As you move through your career journey, create a connection between the roles. As you move, don’t do the same thing. Add to your experience pool.

Know what your exit point is.

Businesses change, and they may force you to take on a new role or new job. You need to be able to change with the business. And when the time comes, recognize that sometimes you need to get out. Draw a line in the sand when you’re in an environment that isn’t accepting of you.

Don’t always have an agenda.

On becoming involved — don’t always have an agenda. Be passionate, and be genuinely committed to the cause. Volunteer small. When you work with small organizations, you have the opportunity to create real impact.

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