Back on Canadian soil
For Oshawa-born David Mack, QMBA’11, his current role as a project manager at RBC Capital Markets is a far cry from the five years he spent serving as a British Army captain in Northern Ireland, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
It was during his time reading theology at Oxford that David got involved with the military and joined the University’s reserve unit. Following his graduation in 2003,he spent a year in infantry officer training at England’s Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, before choosing a commission with the historic Black Watch regiment in 2005.
Five adventurous years and three operational deployments later, David decided it was time to cash in his chips and return to Canada. Exactly one day after being formally discharged from the British Army he began his MBA studies at Queen’s.
“I was keen to enter the corporate world, and I knew an MBA would provide a great complement to my military experience,” David explains. “At Queen’s there had been an instant recognition of the value and specific skills that a veteran could bring to the MBA program, such as strategy, operations and project management, communication, adaptability, and interpersonal skills.”
David is also committed to helping other veterans make a smooth transition into a new civilian life, and he is passionate about promoting Canadian veteran support and networking organization Treble Victor, which helped open the door to David’s first civilian role as a Project Manager at RBC Capital.
“Treble Victor has provided me with a community in corporate Canada of like-minded individuals with similar experiences and values,” David says. “The network acts as a sounding board and has provided me with the tools to interpret corporate life.”
Despite the myriad of challenges that can face veterans transitioning into a civilian life, David firmly believes that their military experiences, their values, and their particular skillsets make veterans invaluable both in academic and in business settings.
“Even in the most challenging military context, one has to do the right thing,” he explains. “It is this moral compass that reflects the leadership quality that every MBA program hopes to develop in its students and which every veteran brings with him or her into an MBA program.”
While in Afghanistan, David helped to coordinate the development of a book, Aviation Assault Battlegroup, which documents the Black Watch's 2009 tour. This book is available on Amazon.
Read more about David in the June QSB Magazine.