“I have a passion for learning. I want to instill positive learning in others. I accomplish this in my spare time by teaching for Sheridan College in their Faculty of Business. Many of my students are far more creative than me, inspiring me to continue to challenge myself and stay caught up ‘with the times’.”
Jim Spitali, Vice President Operations at Genworth Canada
Jim Spitali, Vice President Operations at Genworth Canada, has a stellar record within the financial service industry. His authentic and genuine leadership energizes team synergies, fostering a collaborative spirit. His numinous awards, including being named Top Forty under 40 by Business Link Niagara in 2014, demonstrate a strong commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. Jim is a part-time Professor with the Faculty of Business at Sheridan College and sits on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Niagara.
CFAME Connection caught up with Jim on one of his less busy days for a virtual interview to see how the MBA(FS) influenced his choices going forward.
“I chose the MBA (FS) program,” Jim said, “because I wanted to develop skills and knowledge that would help me become more strategic so that I could operate successfully at an executive level. I also wanted to further my education to a higher standard.
Many of the MBA assignments allowed us to apply real life examples into our learning. I found this to be quite helpful as I was able to take work that I was currently doing in my job and bring it to a more strategic level. There were also several classes and learnings that were fairly new to me; having now completed that learning I am more competent in my role as Vice President of Operations at Genworth Canada. Corporate Finance was an excellent example of this as I know have a much better understanding of financial statements and concepts.
For those who are considering taking the challenge of an MBA, I agree with Dr. McLarney. Don’t just do it for the letters after your name. Do it because you want to learn. An MBA takes a lot of time away from family and certainly minimizes your personal time. If you can turn this additional time into new learnings, you will appreciate it much more in the end and you will have an excellent sense of accomplishment when crossing that stage at the end of your journey. Its also important to have a strong support network. I couldn’t have done it without the support of Genworth Canada and my family.”
On the question of how to integrate creativity and achieve a “balanced” life, Jim acknowledged, “I enjoy basketball and when I quickly realized that I wasn’t talented when it came to dribbling a ball while also running…I decided to trade in my jersey for stripes! Fifteen plus years later, I continue to officiate basketball. I am very fortunate to be on the Ontario University Athletics panel of basketball officials and enjoy travelling to the many Universities across Ontario in my zebra stripes!”
So, what is Jim’s next challenge?
“Fatherhood,” Jim enthused. “I have now been a father for just over 7 months and I have the greatest respect for my fellow classmates that completed their MBA while having children. I’m sure I saved the next challenge in my life (of being a father) for the end of my MBA journey.”