Pilon School of Business
Degree: Business Administration - Accounting
Year of graduation: 1991
Mark Bryant came from a small town with big dreams of entrepreneurship and a love for computers. He found an ideal way to marry the two at Sheridan. “The Business Accounting program offered training in both of those areas so I had a chance to hone my skills,” says Mark, who spent his formative years in Chatham, Ontario before moving to Mississauga as a teenager.
Since graduating in 1991, he has built a career developing, managing and marketing technology in the financial services, software, engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors. Currently, Mark is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at PCL, a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and Australia. Prior to joining PCL in 2013, he led technology operations at D+H Financial Technologies and was CIO at engineering, and consulting firm, MMM Group.
The continuously changing environment he works in provides both the biggest reward and the biggest challenge for Mark. “The pace of change and end-user expectation of service delivery today is higher than it has ever been primarily because everyone carries a smartphone or tablet with them today.” Cloud-based IT services coupled with the mobile nature of information access has put a lot of pressure on IT to execute solutions faster, he explains. “This is a challenge not just in the construction industry but in all industries. The concept of waiting months or years for new services is now reduced to weeks or even days.” However, seeing the benefits of using technology to solve a business problem come to life is satisfying, says Mark.
To remain ahead of the game, Mark involves himself in both small start-ups and larger companies by sharing his knowledge and advice. This helps keep him actively engaged in the technology community at all levels, across a broad set of industries. “Continuously looking for ways to enhance what I do for my organization is critically important to me to stay knowledgeable,” says Mark who holds board positions at Dell Software, Autodesk and 3Quotes. Furthering his education has also been part of his plan – among Mark’s credentials is a CIO MBA from Boston University.
Just as he keeps himself up-to-date on the changes in the industry, Mark advises today’s graduating business student to “Find yourself a mentor, several if you can; actively seek advice. Cast a wide net in making personal connections, moving outside of your direct area of interest.”
It may be advice that many new job seekers have heard before but it still rings true, believes Mark. “Start early, work hard, chase your passions and network, network, network.”
Learn more about Sheridan’s
Bachelor of Business Administration-Accounting