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The international mentor

Isabelle Dessureault, MBA 99
By Jasmin Legatos

Isabelle Dessureault, MBA 99 “When you start a new job or are given new responsibilities, seek out leaders who have different skills than you have. This will serve you well in the long run.”

After occupying top positions in some of Quebec’s largest companies, like Vidéotron and real estate developer Groupe Sélection, Isabelle Dessureault left the corporate world in 2018 to pursue her dream of using her experience to benefit budding entrepreneurs.

Today, she flys between Montreal and Mumbai, where she helps participants of the Zone Startups India accelerator program, many of whom are women, scale their business.

“One of the women I’m coaching is launching a gender-equity index called Engendered that evaluates how different Indian companies are representing women, both in their marketing activities and in their hiring practices,” Dessureault explains. “Seeing women working so hard to succeed, to be empowered, motivates me.”

New experiences gleaned at Concordia

“I grew up in a mostly unilingual, Québécois environment. The MBA program was the first time I got to work with people from around the world. I was fascinated by how their backgrounds informed their approach to certain business topics and I learned to respect the value different cultures bring to the table.”

Best professional skill

“Throughout my career, I’ve re-invented myself over and over. I’m industry agnostic — I went from public affairs to marketing communications, then innovation and now entrepreneurship.”

Biggest career challenge

“Managing the Journal de Montréal lockout in 2009. Though I was on management’s side, I was never overly aggressive and remained conscious of the real impact this dispute had on people and families. I learned that you always have to be respectful and humble.”

Best career advice received

“When you start a new job or are given new responsibilities, seek out leaders who have different skills than you have. Try to get close to someone who is in finance, for instance, and try to understand how their brain works. This will serve you well in the long run.”

Professional feedback

“I say what I think and do what I say. I share my opinion even though it’s not always in line with the corporate culture.”



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