Matthew Hui knew early on that he had a knack for the business side of Information Technology. Despite being only 25, he’s already a Director of Business Strategy. But Matthew has bigger goals, like becoming a Chief Information Officer and a member of Forbes’ 30 Under 30. And he’s trying to achieve all this while preserving a work-life balance. “There is more to life than just work.”
“Throughout my life, I always found myself gravitating towards leadership positions,” says BCIT alumnus Matthew. “Whether at high school or BCIT, I had a knack for putting all the pieces together. In a leadership position, you get the opportunity to inspire others, but also set the vision. I enjoy operating at the strategic level as it allows me to get a bigger picture, and to affect change as effectively as possible.”
From a young age, Matthew discovered he had a soft spot for technology — building computers, playing around with website development, and the like. He also realized he could easily communicate complex concepts — a rare combination.
“BCIT does a great job educating you on the most relevant and latest technologies.”
“Knowing that my skillset was within technology, business analysis, and communication, this lent itself well to my aspirations towards becoming a CIO,” says Matthew. “It was just a question of how to get there.”
And that’s where BCIT came in.
Having three family members — including his father — who attended and endorsed BCIT, made Matthew look no further. In 2014, he chose the Computer Information Technology (CIT) diploma program. CIT provided the best mix of business and technical skills that would equip Matthew to pursue a career in IT.
“Credibility is key. How can you expect technical resources on your team to listen to you if you have no idea what they do? No one is expecting you to be the go-to expert on every domain, but understanding how all the pieces fit together adds to your credibility as a leader,” explains Matthew. “So, in doing CIT, I figured it would give me a good foundation in core concepts like database design, networking, and programming.”
And he wasn’t disappointed. “BCIT does a great job educating you on the most relevant and latest technologies,” says Matthew. “But my biggest takeaway is how BCIT teaches you to learn. Having to prioritize, handle a heavy workload, and learn new concepts quickly are what sets BCIT grads apart. That’s the reason why employers find BCIT grads so attractive because they can quickly absorb knowledge and adapt to new situations with minimal guidance.”
“You’ve got to consider the big picture and your mental health.”
Although Matthew’s praising words sound like a great advertisement, don’t be fooled. “At some moments, it was very, very stressful,” warns Matthew. “It’s long hours, and if you’re looking for an easy way out, there is none.”
When the going got really tough, Matthew received some valuable advice. “The Program Head at the time shared some great advice that I pass along to others now: ‘At the end of the day, it’s just school. What’s the worst that can happen, you re-take a course? You’ve got to consider the big picture and your mental health.’ The next semester, I followed up on that advice, and I noticed the difference in perspective when approaching what would have normally been stressful situations.”
After graduating from CIT in 2016, Matthew went on to do his Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management while also starting his professional career. Although he learned a lot in his first professional roles, after some time, Matthew would continually ask himself: ‘Can I see myself growing here in the next five years?’
“The classmates you meet will be your lifelong network.”
And Matthew answered that question with a resounding ‘yes’ for the past three and half years while working with Belmar Consulting Group, an organization that helps non-profits and the public sector with their digital transformations.
“I wanted to gain exposure and affect change within a small-business environment because that’s where I feel I can make the most impact,” says Matthew.
Initially, he started as a Salesforce consultant, providing customer relationship management advice. But after some time, Matthew felt he could add more value in a different role for Belmar, which had 13 employees at the time.
“The advantage of a small business is that you can shape your opportunities,” says Matthew. “I essentially created my role. I came up with a job description and a rollout plan, and explained how I could convert my unused potential. And for the last 18 months, I’ve been executing those ideas as the Director of Business Strategy and Transformation.”
“To produce the highest quality and most sustainable results, we need to take care of our most important asset: our people.”
Since Matthew’s transition into his new role, the company grew from 13 to 44 employees, some of which are also BCIT grads and former classmates.
“That’s another unique aspect of BCIT,” says Matthew, “the classmates you meet along your journey will become your lifelong network. During the program, you’re working with each other day in and day out. So, it becomes a close-knit community, very similar to what a cross-functional team might look like in the work world.”
Although Matthew is very ambitious, he still uses his former Program Head’s advice as a guideline when mentoring and coaching his colleagues.
“Part of my current job is to make sure that we create an environment at Belmar with a heavy emphasis on work-life balance. We’re in this for the long haul. To produce the highest quality and most sustainable results, we need to take care of our most important asset: our people. Maybe a bit of a cliché, but we need to work smarter, not harder.”
Do you feel you have something to bring to the table? Belmar is always interested in meeting with talent, whether it be for an internship, a co-op or a permanent position. Feel free to reach out to them.