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Ian Oliver: Sheridan Work Placement Paves the Way to Success

June 28, 2011

Ian Oliver started as a sales rep with the Milton Champion newspaper right after graduation 28 years ago and has never looked back. He is now President of Metroland Media Group Ltd., a subsidiary of Torstar Corp., which counts the Champion among its substantial holdings. The 1983 Advertising program grad was honoured for his accomplishments during an awards ceremony in May when he was inducted into Sheridan’s Faculty of Business Alumni Business Hall of Fame.

Within five years of joining Metroland in 1983, Ian was promoted to Publisher of the Champion, subsequently taking on responsibility for the Oakville Beaver, Burlington Post and a number of other publications. During his time at Metroland, Ian has served as Group Publisher of Metroland West and Publisher of the Hamilton Spectator, overseeing an operation that includes the Spectator, The Waterloo Region Record and The Guelph Mercury. Metroland Media is Ontario’s largest publisher of community newspapers, with 103 weeklies and three daily papers, both print and online. The company also produces a variety of magazines and specialty publications, as well as the websites flyerland.ca, goldbook.ca, wheels.ca, gottarent.com and DailyWebTV.com. Metroland operates one of Canada’s largest consumer shows groups and a shopping channel TMGTV. Ian held the position of Executive Vice President for two years prior to becoming President in 2008. A native of Gateshead, England who came to Canada in 1977, Ian also holds an MBA from the University of Leicester.

He is grateful to Sheridan for giving him the skills to hit the ground running following graduation. “My education and training was relevant to the media industry and specific to newspaper sales. My Sheridan work placement with Metroland Media turned out to be the key to my future,” says Ian. The ability to secure employment in the region was also significant to his personal life. “I went on to establish my home life here with my wife and raised two children. I am in good company with many of my fellow graduates who choose the same path both professionally and personally.” Today, Metroland continues to look to Sheridan graduates for co-op and full-time employment opportunities, he adds.

Although the business environment continues to be challenging no matter what career stage you are in, says Ian, “as long as you listen to your customers, develop solutions and have a deep pool of talent, there are still plenty of opportunities for growth.”

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