Rumeet Toor, 28, has been the president of Jobs in Education since 2004 and founded The Toor Centre for Teacher Education in 2010. She was recently included in Canada’s Most Powerful Woman Top 100 Awards.
What’s your background and education?
I finished my undergraduate degree in industrial relations and sociology at the University of Toronto in 2006. I completed a certificate in strategic leadership at UofT in 2007, and a master’s degree in higher education in 2010.
Now I’m doing a PhD in higher education and leadership, and I’m also doing a collaborative degree in the dynamics of global change at the Munk School of Global Affairs. I’m also running my business and have recently started teaching leadership at Humber College.
How did you get to your position?
At 18, I started working part-time at Jobs in Education. I acquired the company when my boss was looking to sell it in 2004.
The Toor Centre came about when I was doing my master’s and I was going onsite to different schools in Ecuador. I learned there was a need for quality teachers, and through my research, I founded the Toor Centre for Teacher Education. It’s a teacher’s college in Nzenvi, Kenya. The members of the rural community were limited in terms of going into the city to receive quality teacher’s training. The idea is to bring teacher’s college to them.
Jobs in Education, my for-profit business, each year donates to the Toor Centre to fund such projects.
What’s the best part of your job?
Being able to help. From the for-profit side, it’s being able to help my clients and provide the best customer service to them. From the Toor Centre, it’s being able to help improve the quality of education, and from the teaching side, it’s being able to help students see their leadership potential and to inspire.
What’s the worst part of your job?
I’d say the bookkeeping side. When you’re an entrepreneur, you do everything from making the executive decisions to the cleaning and all the nitty gritty stuff.
What are your strengths in this role?
I’m very organized. I have to be. I know how my clock works. I know that in the mornings I can get a lot of writing done, so I’ll make sure to work on my assignments. And I know to book my meetings in the afternoons.
What are your weaknesses?
I tend to always want to do more. I have a full plate but I have all these other ideas. Sometimes I don’t know when I need to take a step back and take a break.
What has been your best career move?
My best career move was furthering my education because it has helped me professionally as well as personally.
What has been your worst career move?
Every project came with obstacles, and although it might have felt like the worst in the moment, it was always a learning experience.
What’s your next big job goal?
From the academic side, my goal is to complete my PhD within two years. I’d like to continue teaching and I’d like to continue my relationships with clients and perhaps expand in market share.
What’s your best career advice?
Take an interdisciplinary approach. Expose yourself to different experiences across disciplines and fields and take what you learn and apply it to the work that you do. It encourages you to think in different perspectives and that will always improve the work that you’re doing.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Dianne Nice is The Globe and Mail’s Careers & Workplace Web Editor.
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