Naseem Saloojee, BCom'06

November 30, 2016

Why did you choose Smith Commerce?

Smith not only has one of the strongest business schools in Canada, it also has some of the highest calibre undergraduate students. I wanted to be in a place where I'd learn from and be challenged by the best. I also wanted to be in a place that would set me up for success when I graduated. From getting my first job at McKinsey to getting into Harvard Business School, Smith helped make this possible. 

What is your favourite memory from your time as a student?

There are too many great memories to count: competing at events like ICBC, attending great conferences like QBET and QMAC, having weekly drinks at Ale House and Stages, and meeting the people that have become my closest friends. Perhaps the most defining memory was an expedition I undertook with a group of fellow Smith students to the Himalayas. After hiking to Mt Everest Base Camp, we undertook a volunteer mission in Lukla, Nepal. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. 

What do you enjoy most about working at Top Hat?

The challenge. We have aggressive goals: to double the size of the business each year, drive significant change in a slow moving industry and make a significant difference in the lives of professors and their students. The only way to deliver on these goals is to hire and develop exceptional people who are committed to building something special. 

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I'd like to think my proudest accomplishment is still to come, but I'm encouraged by what we have been able to achieve at Top Hat to date. Over the past 2.5 years, we've scaled revenues from less than $5 million to $27 million, growing the business from 50 to nearly 200 employees and making a difference in the lives of thousands of professors and millions of students. 

What impresses you most during an interview?

A track record of success. I want to hire "business athletes", the type of people who want to exceed all of their goals in front of them and compete to win, but do it with a positive and humble attitude. When interviewing new graduates, I look for patterns of behaviour from the time someone is very young as a way to predict how the person will do in the workforce. 

Any advice to future Smith students?

Keep doing what you're doing. Smith students are smart and exceptionally driven. I'm consistently impressed by what I see.