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Tim Hockey to graduates: Remember the people who shaped you

  • Dawn Milne
  • |
  • Oct 25, 2019
Tim Hockey to graduates: Remember the people who shaped you

Career. Wealth. Accomplishments. We may focus on these traditional measures of success – but we shouldn’t, said Tim Hockey, EMBA ’97, while addressing Ivey’s newest graduates at Western University’s 314th Convocation on October 25.  

Instead, Hockey – a financial services veteran who spent much of his career at TD Bank – told them to remember the people who have made them who they are today.

“It was the lessons from all of the people along the way. People who taught me. People who loved me, and who I loved. People who I’ve lost. All of those people shaped me into the person I’ve become,” he said.

Hockey was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD) at the ceremony for HBA, MSc, EMBA, and PhD graduates. He gave the advice in his Convocation address. Later in the day, graduates returned to Ivey to take the Pledge Ceremony and receive their Ivey Rings, a tradition that began in 2004 and now includes more than 11,000 alumni.

He also shared 13 lessons from 40 years of his career – from working as a midnight shift janitor at age 16 to his most recent role as President and CEO of TD Ameritrade in New York City. Here are a few takeaways:

If you’re going to do a job, put your back into itHockey said he was fired from his janitor job at age 16 because his heart wasn’t in it. Although he was embarrassed, he said he learned to give every job his best effort.

Set lofty goals. Not ever attempting is the same as failing – When he was 22, Hockey set a lofty goal: to be President and CEO of Canada Trust by age 45. And he almost made it. He was given the title one month after he turned 45. The feat shows that goals can be achieved. 

It’s always time to become a better version of yourself – Hockey said his greatest accomplishment at TD Ameritrade was the authentic relationships he had with his team. He encouraged the graduates to put people first.

“You’ll all achieve great things, but here’s the real lesson of my speech: Remember to remember all of your people,” he said.