Skip to Main Content
News@Ivey · Ariba Akhtar and Joyce Liu

U.K. trek inspires HBA students to consider global careers

Mar 18, 2024

U.K. trek participants at Diageo

U.K. trek participants at Diageo

Ivey’s HBA students had an opportunity to travel to London, United Kingdom (U.K.) during Spring Reading Week for a Global Career Trek hosted by Ivey Career Management and the HBA Program Office. The goal was to introduce students to career opportunities in the U.K. and to hear the perspectives of alumni working abroad. In their blog below, Ariba Akhtar and Joyce Liu, both HBA ’25 candidates and Global Career Trek Student Ambassadors, share key takeaways from the experience.

In London, United Kingdom the fusion of tradition and innovation creates fertile ground for career growth, abundant job opportunities, and dynamic networking. Recently, we had the incredible opportunity to lead a group of close to 50 students on a global career trek to London. This immersive experience provided us with the chance to visit prominent firms such as Google, Bain & Company, and Diageo, across different industries. Beyond the firm visits, the trek allowed us to network with Ivey alumni, engage with firm representatives, and gain valuable insights into career opportunities in London, broadening our perspectives beyond Canada. We’ve collected some key takeaways below.

The value of networking beyond borders

One of the most valuable takeaways from the trek was the importance of networking beyond borders. Meeting with Ivey alumni who have established successful careers in London was incredibly inspiring. Sharing an understanding of the Ivey experience, challenges, and triumphs allowed us to effortlessly connect with them in a realistic and relatable manner, enriching our understanding. Their willingness to share insights, and offer advice and support, underscored the strength of the Ivey Alumni Network and the significance of maintaining connections across different geographies. Moving forward, we are committed to nurturing and expanding our professional network, recognizing the immense value it can bring to our career development.

Exploring diverse career paths

Going into the trip, we felt that leading careers in the U.K. would be the traditional finance and consulting career paths. We also assumed it would be the traditional internal office transfer programs that allowed individuals to move to the U.K. from Canada. However, at the Welcome Dinner and networking sessions during firm visits, we realized that each individual had an untraditional path to navigating careers and moving to London. Some mentioned finding a job posting through a Facebook post; others having an HBA classmate recommend them for a job. Although surprising, this insight allowed us to let go of the mindset that there is a step-by-step process of accomplishing an international move. Instead, we learned not to give up. We learned to broaden our thinking and planning and explore careers that provide a diverse and transferable set of skills. Moving forward, we hope to take this learning and embrace a mindset of flexibility and open-mindedness, navigating unforeseen circumstances with determination and confidence.

Embracing global perspectives

Going into the trip, we were both hesitant to explore career opportunities outside Canada, given the difficulty in getting visa sponsorship and leaving family back home. After speaking with alumni and doing more research, we learned about the different programs that allow Canadians to work internationally. An example is the Youth Mobility Program, which allows Canadians aged 35 and younger to explore countries across Europe, Asia, and South America, and live there for up to three years. As a result, many of the students, including us, have been inspired to consider a 2-3-year adventure in the U.K., starting a career, travelling around Europe and soaking up the rich history it has to offer.

Time after time on this trip, we were blown away by the diverse possibilities available to us outside of traditional paths in Canada that we’ve already been exposed to. Whether it’s working at retailers like ASOS, liquor companies like Diageo, or even becoming managing engineers at a tech firm like Shopify, we met so many alumni who helped us to see beyond the first two years after graduation. This trip to the U.K. has made us so excited to explore the world beyond North America and continue expanding our horizons.

View more photos from the U.K. trek below.

Related Articles