Alumni Career Chats are informal, small-group, discussion-based sessions. Current students and recent graduates can join an alumnus to hear their career story, reflect on their experiences and challenges, and ask questions about career exploration and planning. It’s all about storytelling and you.
We use a flexible structure where our Career Exploration & Education staff help guide the interview and students are encouraged to ask questions and engage in the dialogue. We aim to showcase a diverse selection of alumni throughout the chats, ensuring that a wide variety of diverse, equity deserving and gender inclusive folks are represented. We hope that all U of T students can see themselves represented in these conversations.
Open to all current students and recent alumni (up to 2 years after graduation)
How The Program Works
Alumni Career Chats: Equity in Entrepreneurship
November 15 – 17, 2022
Celebrate National Entrepreneurial Month with Career Exploration & Education.
- Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit and want to explore more from BIPOC alumni?
- Are you looking for advice from entrepreneurs that didn’t start their careers with a business degree?
- Hoping to have an honest and open dialogue around equity, entrepreneurship and how we can shape the future landscape for new creators?
As with our continued goal of amplifying the career stories and lived experiences of our equity deserving alumni, this month we’ll be putting a spotlight on BIPOC entrepreneurialism. Through storytelling and dialogue, we’ll celebrate the systems that support their successes, explore and unpack some of the unique challenges and opportunities each alumni has faced, and hopefully we’ll encourage some U of T students to follow their own dreams of one day starting their own businesses.
Gimmy Chu, BASc, Electrical Engineering (2006)
Tuesday, November 15, 2 – 3:30 p.m. Online
Nanoleaf was founded in 2012 by three U of T grads who shared a passion for the green technology and created the world’s most energy efficient light bulb.
As Nanoleaf’s Chief Executive Officer, Gimmy Chu is responsible for Nanoleaf’s day-to-day operations, as well as leading the company’s product development and technology strategy. Gimmy is Canadian born Chinese and holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from U of T.
He’s had 8 years of management experience at one of the largest technology-consulting firms in North America and has delivered numerous multi-million-dollar projects across North America for companies like Best Buy, TD Bank and Hawaiian Telcom. His unique background in IT optimization, comprehensive understanding of corporate structure, and highly experienced problem-solving abilities have proven to be key in growing Nanoleaf into a global company.
Justine Abigail Yu, BA (Hons), Political Science & Sociology (2011)
Wednesday, November 16, 2 – 3:30 p.m. Online
Justine Abigail Yu (she/her) is the Founder of Living Hyphen, a community and multimedia platform that explores what it means to live in between cultures as a hyphenated Canadian – that is, an individual who calls Canada home but who has roots elsewhere.
She is an award-winning writing workshop facilitator whose work with Living Hyphen has been featured on international, national, and local media outlets including the Globe & Mail, CTV National News, and the CBC. She was also named a “Changemaker” by the Toronto Star in October 2021. Justine Abigail is a fierce advocate for equity and anti-oppression. Her mission is to stir the conscience and spur social change.
Efosa Obano, BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration), Finance & Economics, Strategic Management Specialization with Operations Management
Thursday, November 17, 2 – 3:30 p.m. Online
Efosa Obano started and manages the Black Founders Network, which supports Black entrepreneurs with capital, community and capacity building. He also started and leads the African Impact Initiative, which invests in early African innovators. He has experience with using technology to create social impact, invest with impact, and build early-stage ventures. He has been recognized by the UN and the Ontario Minister’s Award of Excellence for this work.
Prior to this, he led a team that guided start-ups on their digital transformation journeys with Dell Technologies Canada. He also led community outreach for Dell Canada’s Social Impact Team & Black Networking Alliance. He received Dell’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award for this work.
He is a Strategic Management Specialist alumni from University of Toronto Scarborough.
Register under Program Activities & Schedule.
Program Activities & Schedule15 Nov
Alumni Career Chats Featuring Gimmy Chu
Chat and learn more about entrepreneurship with alumni Gimmy Chu, BASc, Electrical Engineering (2006) and Chief Executive Officer of Nanoleaf.Register16 Nov
Alumni Career Chat featuring Justine Abigail Yu
Chat and learn more about entrepreneurship with alumni Justine Abigail Yu, BA, Political Science & Sociology (2011) and Founder of Living Hyphen.Register17 Nov
Alumni Career Chat featuring Efosa Obano
Chat and learn more about entrepreneurship with alumni Efosa Obano, BBA, Finance & Economics, Strategic Management Specialization with Operations Management and Founder & Manager of Black Founders Network.Register
What Students Are Saying10 votes
Thank you so much for hosting today's networking session. It was one of the best presentations and networking sessions that I've attended thus far at U of T. I appreciate you giving time to students to ask questions and introduce ourselves to the speaker.