Vijay Singh SidhuDegree: Bachelor of Business Administration, Honours
Faculty: Schulich School of Business
Current Position: Police Officer
Current Career: Police Officer - Currently I am employed as a Police Constable with the Toronto Police Service. I do a variety of work including answering calls for service, traffic enforcement, Forensic work and prisoner booking to name a few. I also work closely with the Toronto Police Employment Unit as an Ambassador seeking out quality candidates for the Service. I am required to attend court on occasion to provide evidence in relation to criminal and provincial cases. I work mostly as part of a team but work individually on occasion as well. In addition, I work shifts, which creates new challenges and opportunities.
Why I think I'm living a great life: I love doing work that sometimes doesn't even feel like work. I love working out on the street (and not being stuck behind the desk 8 hours a day), meeting new people and helping those in need. I love the team I work with and the relationships I have developed working in the police service. At the end of the shift, I know I have done something that has made a difference.
How I got here: Upon graduating high school, I attended the Schulich School of Business at York University to pursue my BBA degree. Upon graduating in 2001, I entered the workforce as an analyst at Celestica Inc. Through high school and university, I had a variety of jobs – from little league softball umpire, to grocery store clerk, to customer service representative to bank teller.
About two years after graduation, I realized what my true calling was. After watching my father serve thirty years with the police service and my brother, who had recently joined the job in 2003, I decided to follow in the family tradition and bear the Toronto Police uniform. I have no regrets about my decision to change careers. Every educational institution I have attended, job, occupation and experience I have had, has shaped me into the individual I am today.
Thing that made the biggest difference: The thing that made the biggest difference to me with respect to my career path was doing something where I felt truly satisfied. I realized that deciding a career path based on what degree I completed was a narrow-minded approach to thinking. After leaving my previous occupation, I thought long and hard about what types of jobs 'typical' business graduates got into. After speaking with some close friends and family, it was quite clear that I desired a career in the public domain that had great opportunities to grow. My family has been the cornerstone of my success as I have had unconditional support from them from day one.
How I'm using my degree in my career: After getting out of the mindset that I needed to find a career that 'typical' business graduates get into, I found applying my degree was easier than I had thought. The Toronto Police Service is essentially a special type of corporation with budgets, hierarchy and a corporate objective (e.g. to serve the public). Working here for several years now, I have applied many of my problem solving techniques learned in school and appreciated the size and breadth of the organization. My degree has given me insight into always looking at the bigger picture and not just what my role is as an individual working for the Service. Behind every decision, there is a budget, a boss and a lot of rules and regulations!
What I've learned: I have learned that you can't let your degree dictate your career path, you must do that yourself. A degree should not limit your career choice, but rather open up more doors for you to walk through. Most importantly, I've learned that people that are happy in their career choice end up being the most successful in their careers as success isn't necessarily determined by salary only; but a multitude of factors such as job satisfaction, advancement and working environment to name a few.
I also believe in life-long learning. Learning doesn't stop when you graduate from university. If anything, it's just the beginning. I am learning new things everyday on the job. Life-long learning is not limited to work and school; but includes all of life's experiences.