Zuzanna Kusyk, 34
Director, Special Purpose Vehicles, Scotiabank
Spoiler alert: if you’re prone to feeling lazy, don’t continue reading about this East Germany–born CPA. Kusyk, who isn’t particularly into running, ran a marathon because it was on her bucket list. She helped pay for her education at the Richard Ivey School of Business by driving a tank for Canadian Reserves. “I have a thirst for knowledge and experience,” she says. “I love to study and take on new challenges.”
Today, her focus is on family. “I’m kind of coasting on career goals, using fl ex hours to spend time at home,” says Kusyk, a Toronto mother of one who wants another child. “After that, I plan to re-enter the workforce full steam.” While “coasting,” she has a full-time job overseeing the reporting and compliance for about $40-billion worth of complex investments. And that somehow leaves time in evenings and on weekends for the Global Professional Master of Laws program offered by the University of Toronto.
As a former employee of Coventree, a major player in 2007’s asset-backed commercial paper meltdown, Kusyk witnessed the $32-billion ABCP fiasco first-hand. That experience, she says, “taught me to be ready to fi nd another job.” But she has never had to worry. “One reason I went into accounting is that you’re never unemployed.”
On how to get ahead: “Perseverance is the key to everything. But you need to pace yourself, whether running a marathon, working or just living life.”