When Tracey Ades, BComm 92, MSc 96, completed her graduate studies at Concordia, Montreal’s job market was struggling in the aftermath of the 1995 Quebec referendum. A native Montrealer, Ades was determined to start her career in her hometown, even as she watched many of her peers move to other cities for job opportunities.
“Because I worked full-time as a waitress during my studies, I didn’t have business experience,” says Ades, who is the director of marketing communications at Genetec. “I really wanted to get a job where I could cut my teeth, get a lot of experience and then figure out what to do with it in a couple of years.”
After consulting multiple job postings, she came across a listing at Concordia’s Career and Placement Services for Silanis Technology (now eSignLive), a high-tech industry startup co-founded by Tommy Petrogiannis, BEng (elec.) 88. Ades applied for the position and was hired as the company’s first employee. She has remained in the high-tech sector ever since.
“What’s really great about working in high-tech in Montreal is that it’s a pretty small community,” Ades says. “You end up building relationships in one company and then they connect you to opportunities in other companies in the future.”
Ades moved on from Silanis in 2004 and gained experience working for a number of public and privately held organizations before landing at Genetec in June 2012. In her current role, Ades oversees the Genetec corporate and regional marketing teams in Montreal, Paris, Dubai and Singapore. Her team focuses on activities including all materials related to graphic design, web and digital marketing, public and media relations, and content marketing.
She credits her master’s in administration at Concordia for helping her better understand business strategy and analytics.
“You have to figure out how you want to go to market. What’s our strategy? What’s the best way to tackle this market? How are we going to crack open others?” Ades says. “Being able to think analytically and develop strategies have been extremely helpful in my career, both as a junior marketer and now in a more global role.”
Given the challenges she faced after graduation, Ades advises students to look for work opportunities during their studies so they are better positioned to start their career when the time comes. She notes that when Genetec hires students from Concordia’s Co-op programs, the results are very positive.
“To have office or department experience along with your education is something that I would highly recommend because it makes you much more marketable as a student,” Ades says. “Look for internship postings or for summer work, and if there’s a co-op program you can ask to be in — great!”
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