By Sarah French on Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Category: Young Professionals

Mentorship key to business success, MEDA Professional Panel agrees

A small but dynamic group discussed the secrets to success in business at MEDA's Professional Panel: Business Insight from Local Leaders event May 24 in Waterloo, ON at Conrad Grebel University College.  

An estimated 20 students, panelists, MEDA staff, MEDA Waterloo chapter members, and other young professionals discussed a wide range of topics, from the need to be passionate about what you’re doing, work/life balance, and the importance of philanthropy, to time management. 

The panel included: 

  • Mentorship emerged as a key theme as each panelist spoke about how important it is to find a few individuals you can confide in. They noted such a relationship goes both ways though: It is also important to be a mentor, not just a mentee. (Watch for a story on mentorship in an upcoming issue of The Marketplace magazine.) 

    Panel moderator Jonathan Smith asked Grebel students what they most wanted to learn from the panelists, giving each student a chance to talk to the audience about barriers they face and what they hope to accomplish.  

    Chapter participants also shared their experiences. The discussion continued during networking and refreshments that followed. To host a professional panel in your area, please contact Sarah French – sfrench@meda.org - for more details.  

    Thanks to Kindred Credit Union for sponsoring refreshments for the event! 

    Panel Profiles 

  • In 2015 Andrew Yantzi was the recipient of a MEDA 20 Under 35 Award, which recognizes young professionals who exemplify MEDA values – faith, service and an entrepreneurial spirit - and who desire to make a difference in the world. Andrew completed his undergraduate degree in Management at Dalhousie University, and a Master's degree in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program at the University of Waterloo. 

  • Andrea Parsons also is a UW graduate. She started her career in software, managing the implementation of large-scale corporate software across entire enterprises. While she had the opportunity to buy into the software company, at age 27 she chose to follow her passion in serving others and purchased an 87-bed long-term care facility in Mount Forest, ON. The home is a recognized leader in long-term care, helping the Ministry of Health pilot quality initiatives that were later rolled out across the province.

  • Andrea had various business offers that would have furthered her professional success, but she chose to retire at 37 to raise her three young children. After taking up gardening and canning, Andrea wanted to add a bit of “business” back in to her life, and purchased a Marble Slab Creamery franchise. Over the last three years, she has continued to raise her children full-time while doubling the sales of the franchise and finding ways through ice cream to give opportunities to others. 

  • Majid Mirza is a senior project manager at MEDA. Majid’s primary responsibility has been leading MEDA’s INFRONT (Impact Investing in Frontier Markets) project since August 2016. Majid is also a member of the MEDA’s investment technical team and represents MEDA in CAFIID – the Canadian Forum for Impact Investing and Development.

  • Majid has a Bachelors in Arts & Business from the University of Waterloo, along with a Master's degree in Business Entrepreneurship & Technology. Since 2009 Majid has been working with various impact investing and international development organizations including Acumen, Engro Foundation and The Aman Foundation. 

  • Jeffrey Jane serves as executive director for MUFG Investor Services. His dual role includes leading both an operations team and serving as head of location for three offices and 170 employees. Jeffrey joined MUFG in 2010; prior to joining he was a senior manager at Caceis Investor Services (formerly Olympia Capital) in Bermuda from 2002-2010. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, and holds both CPA and CMA designations.