by Patty Mah
Young alum Annu Puri (MAcc ’19), attributes his current success to Waterloo’s entrepreneurial spirit and the experiences and mentors he’s had throughout his academic career. Calling Waterloo Region home, Puri returned to the University to see how it has changed across campus, chat about his career path, and highlight his passion project, &Vision, with the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF).
Puri is currently a senior consultant within Deloitte’s Corporate Development and Transformation team, accountable for supporting mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities and strategic initiatives of the individual member firms across the entire Deloitte organization. “I work with lots of people from all over the world,” says Puri. “My role allows me to see how things are functioning broadly across the entire firm.”
In regaling his co- and extra-curricular experiences in the Student Venture Fund and ACE Consulting Group, to name a few, have ultimately helped shape who he is today. The exposure also resulted in a once in a lifetime experience in being selected as one of 18 post-secondary students across Canada to participate in the CEOX1Day program. Puri additionally credits the mentorship he had to Adnan Khan, a 2017 Master of Accounting graduate, in encouraging him to apply for the CEOX1Day program.
Puri shadowed Frederic Landtmeters, the CEO of Molson Coors Canada, and learning first-hand the impact a CEO has and the level of accountability and responsibility for those who rely on a leader in an executive role. Puri ended his day with a one-on-one career discussion with Landtmeters and attended a Toronto Maple Leafs game that evening, “It was a powerful experience for me which culminated in being able to sit in the CEO’s seats at the Leafs game. It was the day before my birthday, so literally the best birthday gift I’ve ever had!”
Having grown up in the City of Waterloo, Puri recognized the advantage of having a world-class academic institution close by had made it easier for him to learn about the business programs offered by the University of Waterloo. This led to &Vision, a passion project which Puri co-founded with fellow MAcc 2019 graduate, Jacqueline Sue and another high school friend and a graduate of the business program at Queen’s University. The three friends acknowledged the plethora of diverse and high-quality business programs within Ontario but identified that “… there’s a need for information for students looking to go into business education in Canada and Ontario. There’s a lot of information out there, but how do you know which one to go into,” notes Puri. The VisionBoard, an online dashboard, was created as &Vision’s initial offering to help high school students make the best-informed decisions they can for their post-secondary academic careers.
Utilizing information from national business programs, like Queen’s Commerce and specialized business programs like Waterloo’s Accounting and Financial Management (AFM), the VisionBoard helps students explore and identify business programs that may be the right fit for their educational journey.
“We’re first-generation Canadians, so we didn’t have parents or family members who have gone to institutions to such a great degree and to learn from about all the programs available and how we can shape our career path,” admits Puri. “We didn’t have that guidance and we wanted to provide that in whatever way we could.”
Puri looks to emulate the leaders he’s met, like Frederic Landtmeters, and to take to heart the lessons learned from his mentors and the powerful experiences he’s had to continue building his leadership skills. Moving forward, Puri considers, “as I progress in my career, I think about how I can be that type of leader and how can I build trust with the people I’m working with, both above and below me.”