Today’s Notable Young Professional is Brittney Kuczynski, whose day-to-day defines living the 360-degree lifestyle. On top of working in Institutional Equity Sales at a top-tier investment dealer in Toronto, she also spearheads two significant fundraising platforms and is a major supporter of Canadian fashion talent…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I work in Institutional Equity Sales at a top-tier investment dealer in Toronto. I have the most intellectually stimulating job; I spend my day following the markets, reading research by our analysts across all sectors of Canadian equity markets, and discussing investment ideas with institutional fund managers who manage tens of millions, and up to billions, of dollars in assets.
Outside of work, I play an active role in the Canadian fashion industry. I co-founded the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) and currently play a principal role in the evolution of our platform that endeavours to help fashion design companies flourish via the Canadian Fashion Fund.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I started my career as a Global Equities Analyst at Summerhill Capital Management and have been working on the ‘sell side’ of the street for the past two years.
I always knew this was a job perfectly suited for me; I’m intellectually curious and results-driven. Most of all, I love the stock market!
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
My job enables me to see how the global economy evolves each day, and how money moves to capture opportunities. The most challenging (and exciting) part of the day is the sheer unpredictability of the markets. I feel like a sponge; there are no dull moments in this business, and there is always an opportunity to learn something new.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
The truth is, my work/life balance is always off – it’s become my norm. What else are your 20s for?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Since I graduated University in 2011, I’ve worked very hard to get to where I am right now; working a stimulating job at a great firm, various very special philanthropic projects underway, and developing a platform that helps foster the next generation of Canadian international fashion designers. My plan is to stay focused, continue to work hard, and hope to achieve great success with all the wheels I’ve set in motion.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
If you’re working hard at a job you’re happy doing, you’re likely good at it. If this is the case, money should follow. I wouldn’t say I need money to be happy, but money enables financial freedom; opportunities to experience parts of the world, donate money to charities (and there are a plethora of them), and back ideas you believe, etc. In this framework, money is important and it makes me happy.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
My most memorable moment in my very eclectic career was when I was nine years old trying to make it as a child actress. I went for what felt like 1,000 auditions and consistent letdowns; it was a lot of rejection to face as a young kid. Under the inspiration of my parents, I kept plugging away and on my 9th birthday I found out that I had gotten a role in a feature film, That Old Feeling starring Bette Midler and directed by Carl Reiner. Although film wasn’t my vocation, it taught me never to give up and to work your butt off. To this day, I crave that moment of achievement and apply it to all aspects of my career.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Find something you love and make it your life!
When you’re not working how you do love to spend your “Me” time?
My favourite ‘me’ time is spent with my family. My mom, Nonna and Nonno make the best shopping companions, and I always find myself in some kind of stimulating discussion with my Dad and brother. We’re family, but we also seem to make great friends and I cherish every minute with them.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Push by Madonna. It speaks to my motivation, and acknowledges my family, friends, and employers who support me along the way.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I can’t imagine doing anything other than what I’m doing right now.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I started the Oceana Ball when I was 19 years old and served as Editor-in-Chief of Oceana, a non-profit publication. The initiative supported the Herbie Fund at the Hospital for Sick Children – nothing short of an exceptional organization that provides life-saving and life-altering care for kids all over the world. It was amazing; every dime we raised went towards changing a child’s life, and I had the honour of meeting a few of them myself.
Last year I started a new foundation that raises money and awareness for grassroots charities. In doing so, the foundation hosts an annual event, Le Grand Bal, and publishes a volunteer-driven, nationally-distributed magazine that features influential and iconic Canadians who are making a difference and playing an instrumental role in the evolution of our cultural identity. All money raised is donated to Oolagen Youth Mental Health.
I’m also an advocate for the Toronto Public Library as a member of their young patrons group, New Collection. I helped launch their annual fundraising party, Hush Hush, which I have Co-Chaired the past two years. New Collection is an incredibly vibrant organization that I believe plays an increasingly vital role in contemporary society. The thought-provoking mandate it ensues will enable it to emerge as a leading organization for young professionals and I look forward to supporting it many years into the future.
By the way, Hush Hush is taking place on October 25th at the Bloor Gladstone library and tickets are available at Hush-hush.ca!
What to you is notable?
Someone who makes a difference because they genuinely want to.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Blackberry and iPhone.