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EY alumnus, Nav Dhillon, believes the mentorship and training he received at EY was pivotal to his success in industry.

In brief 

  • EY alumnus, Nav Dhillon, discusses how having a mentor that challenges you and provides opportunity is crucial to success.
  • He explains how the network you build along your career journey is an invaluable resource.

When EY alumnus Nav Dhillon looks back at his career progression, he is quick to credit his time at EY and the mentorship he was given along the way. “I don't think I'd be here if it wasn’t for the EY leadership training or mentorship that I had, both formal and informal,” he says. “I fundamentally believe that the EY organization breeds fantastic leaders across the board.”

Before becoming Vice President of Finance at Intact, Nav began his career at EY fresh out of university. He worked in audit before finding his feet in consulting. Kirsten Tisdale, EY Canada Government and Public Sector Leader, took him under her wing and began to give him opportunities he never thought he’d have at such a young age.

He was brought into meetings with some of the organization’s biggest clients and learned alongside his mentor. “There's nothing better than really getting thrown into something and learning on the fly, so to speak. The amount of knowledge that you gain from that, and the amount of experience that you gain in such a short window of time is just exponential. It’s almost life changing in terms of development.”

That mentorship and guidance gave Nav the confidence to take on new challenges - and new opportunities. “I learned a ton about a varying amount of businesses. I learned how to be a professional. I learned how to navigate and work with clients. I also learned how to navigate difficult team situations and be a leader.”

I fundamentally believe that the EY organization breeds fantastic leaders across the board.

The alumni network keeps you connected

When another alumni came to Nav with a job working in industry, he decided it was time to leave the EY organization. Nav has taken the valuable skills he learned and applies that knowledge to his role as Vice President of Finance at Intact.

He is passionate about leading by example and mentoring others. “Paying it forward, for me, is fundamental,” he says, “it’s something that I do every day, it's something that I embrace every day. And that’s really because two senior mentors from EY member firms paid it forward to me. They didn't have to invest the time that they did with me, just so I could learn and develop as a person and leader.”

Despite having been away from the EY organziation for eight years, Nav still keeps in touch with his former colleagues and uses the EY alumni network to stay connected.

What the EY organization means to me is many things. If I was to sum it up, it's just a trusted advisor across the board.

In addition, the EY alumni network has been a great way for Nav to stay on top of trends and top up his industry knowledge: “The EY network, for me, has been a fantastic resource. Not only have I been able to either use the EY organization and the resources that are available there to help with certain projects, but also just informally, to understand what's going on in the market - whether it be my own market, or what's happening in digital, what's happening in government and the public sector. EY teams help provide me to have a fantastic pulse of what's going on around the country.”


Of course, there’s always his mentor, Kirsten, whom he still keeps in touch with regularly. Today, it’s a different relationship but stronger than ever. As Kirsten says, “We needed to reframe the relationship and the friendship that we have. I've benefited enormously from being able to reach out on a regular basis, get Nav’s insights on what's going on, and some trends in the industry. What I love is that we're able to keep that relationship going both on the personal side and also on the business side.”


Nav agrees. “What the EY organization means to me is many things. It's a friend. It's a mentor. It's a phone call when I need some advice, or need to understand what's happening in the market. And if I was to sum it up, it's just a trusted advisor across the board.”

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The EY experience for Nav has been exceptional, one full of opportunities and creating life long connections. 

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