Joy Fenney, 32
Senior Vice-president, Canaccord Wealth Management
Fenney raves about her Rotman executive MBA. “The international program I took was incredible, because it forced me to understand the big picture.” That said, she likes to joke that she went to business school in order to qualify for the job she already had.
After graduating with a BA in English literature in 2002, the Toronto native worked for a few tech companies before taking a research editor gig at Canaccord Capital in 2004. Since then, Fenney has served in a variety of roles ranging from supervisory analyst to VP of capital markets operations. Promoted to senior VP last year, she now runs a team that manages information flow and compliance processes to ensure the firm’s line workers can wheel and deal efficiently. The finance executive—who says the worst advice she ever received was to get more experience before taking on a new challenge—attributes her career trajectory to a passion for learning and fairness, and a healthy fear of getting fired. “I like to understand how I learn and how others learn,” she says. “That has taught me to understand new things fast and also how to sell my ideas quickly.”
Although her university buddies still bug her about “working for the Man,” Fenney finds her career highly rewarding, personally and financially. In fact, she advises future art grads to at least consider becoming professional Street people. “Once you get over that it’s about money,” she says, “you see it’s really about where money can be most useful. I always say to critics, ‘How do you think a biotech company gets funded?’”
On what not to read on vacation: “Anything written after Jane Austen is crap.”