An Alumnus Doubles Down

Friday, October 30, 2015

Uppi portrait
Written by Upasana Doshi (BMath ’06) 

I’m not much of a gambler, so it’s quite unlikely that you’ll find me in a casino or even buying a lottery ticket as the odds are stacked against me and I’m not one to bet on good luck.

But here I am, doubling down. I’m betting my salary for the remainder of the year and foreseeable future cash flows and yet, my hands aren’t shaking and there isn’t a bead of sweat on my forehead - that is because in this moment, I am certain the odds are in my favour – I am betting on myself!

How I got to the point of Doubling Down

It all began with the little voice in my head. That voice got me on my journey of questioning what I want to do next in my career, what I want out of life, and what am I truly passionate about? As these thoughts began to crystallize, I realized that I was at a point where I wanted to shift gears in my career while leveraging my skills and what I had learnt so far in order to make a positive impact in the world.

I thought back to my days at the University of Waterloo where I learnt so much. The University of Waterloo not only instills a top of the line education in its students, but also provides hands on experience through the co-op program. Most importantly, it instills the importance of innovation, out of the box thinking and enables students to really make a difference! The foundation of hard and soft skills I gained through the University of Waterloo played a big role in giving me the courage to take this next leap in my career. I continue to be impressed and inspired by my fellow University of Waterloo alumni and the impact they are making in the world.

After a lot of talking to trusted people in my network, I decided to willingly resign from my job I am very comfortable at, without knowing exactly when and where my next paycheque would come from. And here’s the thing, I like the organization I work for, have met some remarkable people, AND on top of it all, I am compensated well.

Being the geek that I am, I made a Venn diagram of what I want out of my career, my portfolio of skills, and industries and roles of interest to me. This helped me confirm what I was already thinking and brought me to my "Aha" moment of what I want to do next.

So what IS it that I want to do next?

Leverage my learnings from UWaterloo as well as 10+ years of professional experience and be part of a small and innovative organization in order to make a positive impact and enhance the lives of people in the world through healthcare within the software/technology space.

What I’d like to leave you with…

  1. Take time to know who you are at this moment in time and what you’re looking for next
  2. Pay attention to the little voice in your head
  3. Evaluate risk vs. reward and be comfortable with worse case scenario
  4. Remember your learnings from UWaterloo and the value of a UWaterloo degree
  5. Have the courage to Double Down when it makes sense for you