School: Haskayne School of Business (University of Calgary)
Much of Gordon Hynes’s early life involved balancing his love of hockey with his studies. The Alberta native’s parents emphasized the importance of education, and Hynes delivered top grades. One day, he came home from high school and found his parents seated in the living room with a recruiter from Princeton University. A few other Ivey League schools were knocking on his door at that time as well and, though Hynes knew by the age of 17 that he wanted someday to work in the field of investment banking, he was determined first to see through his dream of becoming a professional hockey player, and passed up several offers for full scholarships.
After several years in the junior leagues, Hynes joined Canada’s national team, and won a silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. The remainder of his professional career included positions with the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, as well as some time playing professionally in Europe. Once his hockey career ended, Hynes began looking for something to bridge the gap between his early scholastic success and his post-hockey career.
“When I started talking to people, it was always back to, ‘Well, you’re a hockey player, you should do this,’” says Hynes. Many were skeptical about his desire to return to academics, advising him to use his hockey background as a way to get his foot in the door of a corporation. “Fundamentally, I felt like I was an investment banker, a capital markets guy really, and always wanted to be—hockey just kept getting in the way.”
With his eyes fixed on a career discounting the cash flows of interest rate swaps, Hynes followed his instincts and applied to the MBA program at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business. In June 2005, he graduated, landing a job with TD Bank, eventually moving on to Bay Street to work in credit derivatives.
“The MBA rounded out my ability to say that I’m an educated, scholarly person as well,” says Hynes, who today is VP and director of TD Securities. “I’m a great example of how that MBA can help you. You definitely need to have some crossover skills, but really it’s just drive and effort, and a hockey player is not at all related to a business or finance professional. The MBA made that bridge for me. I wouldn’t have the job I have now without going back to do it. That’s for sure.”