A Q&A with Gary Hinds, Associate Director of the Master of Finance Program at Queen’s University
We spoke to Gary Hinds, Associate Director at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University’s downtown Toronto business school. Here, we chatted with Hinds about how tech innovations are shaking up the finance industry, the burgeoning field of sustainable finance, and why Smith’s students love The Marquee Group’s financial modeling courses.
Tell us about your job and what you do.
I’m originally from Grenada (that’s a tiny island in the Caribbean), and I came to Toronto in 2016 to do my master’s in international business at Smith. I enjoyed the school so much I decided to work for them. Currently, I’m the Associate Director for Smith’s Master of Finance program. My job is recruitment focused, so I speak with prospective students, and host a lot of webinars and info sessions.
What changes are you noticing in the financial sector—everyone was talking about cryptocurrency last year, what’s the next hot topic?
The tech space is becoming heavily involved in finance, and we’re seeing huge developments in A.I. and robo-advising. Another area that’s growing is sustainable finance. In fact, Smith recently launched the Institute for Sustainable Finance, a multi-disciplinary network that aims to unite academics, businesses and the government in an effort to foster long-term environmental sustainability and economic prosperity for future generations.
How did you become involved with Marquee?
The Marquee Group teaches financial modeling to both our graduate and undergraduates. Financial modeling skills are essential for anyone who wants to work in accounting, investment banking and corporate finance. Big businesses and banks hire The Marquee Group to come in and teach their employees, so it gives our students a huge advantage when they enter the workforce already equipped with these skills. Ian Schnoor [Marquee’s Founder and President] and Tim Benson [Marquee’s Co-head of Training] will often stay after class to answer questions and help students with their models. There’s always a waitlist for Marquee’s classes—they’re hugely popular.
Why is training with The Marquee Group invaluable in today’s rapidly evolving financial sector?
The technical skills that The Marquee Group teaches are essential to a huge range of disciplines from investment banking to equity research, and the ability to build good financial models helps businesses analyze their data so that they can make the best decisions going forward.
Finally, when you aren’t working—what does your free time look like?
Entrepreneurship is a part of my future goals, so I’m always trying to learn more about finance. I read the Economist and Investopedia regularly, but I’m looking at taking a Marquee course in the near future. I want to improve my Excel abilities—I don’t think people utilize Excel’s potential enough. In finance Excel is used all the time, but I think it can also benefit small business owners, too. The ability to forecast is so useful.
That sounds like work to me, do you ever relax?
I do want to do more travelling. I’m hoping to escape to Cancun at the end of March to get away from the cold. Coming from a hot climate… this cold weather, well, it’s not the best.