One of the highlights of Alan Hurren’s career has been the opportunity to see the world.
“I have worked for Canadian firms that conduct most of their business internationally,” says the 1992 Electrical Engineering and Management grad. “This has allowed me to travel and live internationally, and come to appreciate the many cultures I have been exposed to and meet some really great people over the course of my career.”
Currently, Hurren is Senior Vice-President, Research and Development at the Ottawa-area telecommunications firm Mitel Corporation. In business for 45 years so far, the company has 70 million business users in over 100 countries.
“I lead the product development group and have responsibility for building the products and solutions that will keep Mitel competitive,” he says. “I have the privilege of leading an organization of talented engineers and getting to witness daily the talent and passion the team brings to the job.”
He also sits as a board member of the Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN), a federally-funded partnership aiming to accelerate the growth of Canada’s Information and Communications Technology sector.
Hurren says the technical fundamentals of his engineering degree, combined with the communication skills he developed in the management option, have allowed him to effectively explain technology to business leaders and progress into senior management positions.
His advice to students: “While I was always told that ‘who you know’ was important, I didn’t recognize just how important a network would be. My best career opportunities came through contacts in my network and wouldn’t otherwise have been possible.”
He adds: “Plan your career. You need to be in the driver’s seat and know what you want and how you plan to get there.”