Rotman School of Management

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A telecom professional on balancing work, the Executive MBA and life

December 14, 2017

Rupinder Dhillion, EMBA 2018For Rupinder Dhillon (EMBA ’18), every day is a balancing act.

When she isn’t working on a project for Bell Canada, Dhillon can usually be found completing an assignment for her MBA classes. Or, she might be rushing off to the School, where she’s a member of the Master of Management Analytics Advisory Board and an EMBA student with the Creative Destruction Lab.

It’s no surprise that Dhillon, who was recently promoted to director of advanced analytics and data science, is often sought out to mentor and coach younger working professionals at Rotman. Dhillon, who is also a mother of two young sons, excels under pressure.

What’s the secret to balancing a challenging program, a demanding career and parenthood? It’s tough, admits Dhillon, but she’s deliberate in reserving some of the energy and passion that she shares with family, friends and her organization and directing it inwards.

“Women, especially moms, do so much for other people,” Dhillon says. “But you have to view your career as something worth nurturing too. I tell all women to be diligent, strategic and thoughtful in pursuing the career and life they want.”

Prioritize: make goals and stay focused

Before coming to Rotman, Dhillon had established a successful career in analytics. She had worked as an independent consultant, advising major clients, including Bell Mobility, ScotiaCapital and CIBC, on issues related to business intelligence and data management, before taking a senior manager role at Bell.

Around this time, she began thinking about her next career move.

“I knew I wanted to have more impact and lead initiatives from beginning to end,” she explains. “I started to think about the skills I’d need if I wanted to take on significant leadership roles and engage in strategic conversations.”


“The program has given me the time and guidance to think about how I could communicate in a clearer way, deliver feedback more effectively and be a better leader.”

-Rupinder Dhillon (EMBA ’18), Director, Advanced Analytics and Data Science, Bell Canada


She recalled how her husband, Robin Bains (Morning/Evening MBA ’15), had become more methodical in accomplishing and approaching tasks at work after completing the Morning MBA program at Rotman. Realizing that she could benefit from a similar management education, she enrolled in the School’s one-year Executive MBA while on maternity leave, when the couple’s youngest son was only three months old.

During this busy time, the time-strapped mother of two remained focused on her key priorities.

“I was adamant about taking advantage of every opportunity at the School, while not losing out on baby or family time,” explains Dhillon, who made a habit of starting homework as soon as her kids were in bed.

She and her husband also balance family and work life by carving out dedicated family time each day, keeping the TV off and being selective about the activities they enjoy together.

“It’s difficult to say no to some of the social engagements and parties,” she explains. “But you can’t do it all. To make it all work, you have to be ok with prioritizing.”

Be strategic: get your managers involved

Making her MBA a priority has already paid off for Dhillon, who acquired a strong understanding of the international business landscape and a leadership mindset through her Rotman experience.

“The program has given me the time and guidance to think about how I could communicate in a clearer way, deliver feedback more effectively and be a better leader.”


“Strive for a well-rounded life. Enjoy the time with family, but also take time to go after professional opportunities and establish a fulfilling career.”

-Rupinder Dhillon (EMBA ’18), Director, Advanced Analytics and Data Science, Bell Canada


This was particularly valuable to Dhillon, who manages and works closely with various advanced analytics teams at Bell. A major aspect of her role is thinking about how the organization can use data to improve the customer experience, and communicating expectations and new ideas to her team members.

She also convinced her organization to get on board when she decided to pursue a management education, and encourages others to do the same.

“Get your managers involved in the program,” she advises. “When I had an assignment for class, I would make it about Bell, so that I could take the feedback I collected back to my boss. It goes a long way in showing how the days I spend in class can be valuable to the company’s bottom line.”

Finally, she advises all working parents to take a few moments to pause.

“Strive for a well-rounded life. Enjoy the time with family, but also take time to go after professional opportunities and establish a fulfilling career.”


Written by Rebecca Cheung

About Rupinder DhillonEMBA 2018

Hometown

Hometown

Toronto, Ontario

Class

Class year

Executive MBA 2018

Industry

Industry

Telecommunications, Analytics

Job Title

Current job title

Director, Advanced Analytics and Data Science, Bell Canada

Previous Work Experience

Previous education

Bachelor of Commerce, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

Previous Education

Previous work experience

  • Senior Manager, Advanced Analytics, Bell Canada
  • Independent Consultant


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