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Sanjay Pathak, BEng Mgt '96

Electrical Engineering & Management | A Career Path to the Other Side of the World

It wasn’t a pre-conceived plan that led Sanjay Pathak to where he’s landed today.

In fact, when he graduated from McMaster’s Electrical Engineering and Management program in 1996, Australia was nowhere on the radar.

And on the career front, he thought he might find himself working for a big telecommunications company, or even doing a graduate degree.

But he wandered into the world of consulting, which included a Managing Director role at Accenture leading Technology Strategy in Canada, and eventually led to being admitted to the Partnership at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Melbourne, Australia.

“When the opportunity emerged to move to Australia, my wife and I spent countless hours balancing the risk and reward, especially considering what it meant for our twin 3 year-olds,” says Pathak. “Ultimately we decided we were up for the adventure. While it’s only been a few months, the experience has been excellent.”

As National Leader of Financial Services Technology Consulting, Pathak oversees the firm’s business across banking, capital markets, and insurance, and acts as Technology Lead Partner for one of Australia’s biggest banks.

“Over time, ‘navigating my career’ has meant playing to my strengths and using that as currency to try new things,” says Pathak.

“Engineering gave me an appreciation for the science and technique of efficient and effective problem solving, while the management side of my degree gave me the tools for success when my responsibilities evolved into running client engagements, managing larger and more complex projects, and being responsible for financial performance across teams, clients and organizations.”

He advises today’s students to be broad-minded and brave when considering career opportunities.

“Experiment in your career, and keep an open mind about where it is headed because there’s such a rich variety of opportunities available,” he says.  “And don’t place artificial limits on how far you think you can go. Credentials matter, but your long-term future will depend as much or more on passion, drive, focus, and hard work.”