Success Beyond the Classroom

Success Beyond the Classroom

Conversations and Perspectives

The School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) is committed to providing opportunities for students to learn beyond the classroom to better position them for long-term success.

In order to create this opportunity, SAF alumnus, Upkar Arora (MAcc '85) created a seminar series entitled ‘Success Beyond the Classroom’ – in partnership with a second year course offered by SAF faculty member, Nancy Vanden Bosch. The seminar series is conversational and interactive and is designed to better equip students who are embarking on their careers post-graduation by enhancing those non-technical skills or characteristics that contribute to the development of future business leaders.upkararora

Upkar is an FCPA, FCA, having been awarded the Fellow distinction in 2017. He holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors through Rotman and is a BMW Foundation Global Responsible Leader. He obtained his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in accounting and economics from the University of Waterloo. 

Currently, Upkar Arora is the CEO of Rally Assets Inc. (formerly Purpose Capital Limited) an independent, full-service, impact investment and advisory firm committed to using capital to accelerate social and environmental progress

Previously, Upkar founded and led Illumina Partners, a boutique advisory firm that specialized in strategy, operations, M&A and finance. He has acquired, operated and advised companies in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe and has completed more than $20 billion of mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, dispositions and financings. He has experience working as an entrepreneur, business owner, or advisor in organizations small and large, domestic and international, private and public, for profit and not for profit.

Over the past nine years Upkar has channeled his energies to bring innovative thinking, informed by business experience, to solve complex social and environmental issues, use business as a force for good and fuel the movement of capital to impact investments – those designed to generate measurable, beneficial, social and/or environmental impact along with a financial return.

Upkar has also seen success within the School of Accounting and Finance; in 2015, he received the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award to recognize his significant contribution to the School and to the University.

I will be speaking to you not as an expert but as a student of business, of organizations, of human behaviour and a believer in lifelong learning; I have been exposed to a wealth of people, situations and experiences from which to draw certain conclusions and develop perspectives and insights that may be relevant for students entering the world of business.
-Upkar Arora, MAcc

Fourth year student participant and MAcc 2015 graduate, Adrienne Chau says:

With the help of Upkar, alumni have provided students with an eye-opening and thought provoking experience. This valuable experience and connection has provided me an insight in the job market and further direction as I approach graduation.