Reflections from a recent retiree
Jane Sillberg (BA ’83) looks back on a successful career as she embarks on her next chapter
After graduating in 1983 from the University of Waterloo with a psychology degree I moved to London, Ontario. I didn’t particularly know what I wanted to do, so started applying for jobs listed in the newspaper and dropping off my resume to the major employers. It didn’t take long to receive a call from Canada Trust (now TD Canada Trust). During my 17 years there, I had nine different jobs, all building upon one another. One of the things that was very important to my long-term career was the training that Canada Trust offered: leadership, efficiency in process and people skills. Those skills continue with me today.
One of the things I was curious about while working in corporate roles was entrepreneurship. What would it be like to have my own consulting business? I ventured out, leaving the security of a paycheque, to create Hummingbird Consulting. I worked for mostly large organizations doing management assessments, conflict resolution and a variety of training. After a couple of years, I was wooed back into a corporate role, still in financial services, but now as the vice president of Human Resources.
During this time, I started to do my Masters in Business Management online. It took five years and I was very happy when I could add that to my resume.
The riskiest move I made happened when I accepted the head HR position for Canada and the UK for Intuit. I was still living in London, which meant a commute to Edmonton. It was an exciting time for my family spending time in a new city on weekends. The position offered me long awaited international experience. The travel did get tiresome after a couple of years so I accepted a Global position as VP of HR with IBI Group. I had the pleasure to start and grow HR in this international company. I travelled extensively during that time to many counties gaining a perspective on business culture. It was a dream job that allowed me to work with many outstanding people. That’s where I spent 11 years prior to retiring.
Now that I’m retired, I golf and travel with my husband, and spend time with our grown children, daughter-in-law, sons-in-law, 12 grandchildren, my mom and our vast group of friends. When I reflect on my career, I’m satisfied and proud of what I was able to contribute. And it all started with a degree from the University of Waterloo!
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.