Business savvy + badass

April 19, 2011

Photo Credit: Kelly Hoey

Is a girl crush the same as a role-model?  Insert shrug.  Doesn’t really matter.

Not only is my girl crush business savvy + badass, but she is also an entrepreneur from British Columbia that laughs loudly, thinks strategically, and advises wisely.  As most people often do when they are intrigued by a true role-model, they ask questions.  I naturally had many questions for the ultimate connector, Kelly Hoey, upon my meeting with her.

Where did you begin?

Kelly described her hometown, Victoria, BC, as a “wonderful place to be from. … I was pushed to see the possibilities in the world but I don’t think my parents realized what all the possibilities were themselves.”   After leaving home for law school in Vancouver, Kelly then practiced law at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto.

Had you always wanted to be a lawyer? 

“I didn’t have enough confidence in my math skills to go for a MBA,” Kelly commented.  Although Kelly did not necessarily know she’d pursue a law degree at a young age, she did know that she would pursue a professional degree.

Kelly recalled that there was a three-year period during her law career when she really enjoyed practicing law.  What aligned?    “All of my career needs were met and satisfied during that time,” Kelly commented.

All needs?  Please share.

1.) The firm supported a strong mentor program.

2.) The client management system was developed and accessible – it was a solid network.

3.) There were opportunities to get involved in the firm at every level, whether it was contributing to daily management or volunteer events.

What was the career takeaway from your experience at Osler?

“If I had known myself better then, I would have made better decisions.”  Kelly added, “Career ownership means being clear about what you want in a career and being able to ask an employer the right questions.  You may get answers you don’t like which is OK.  That means it isn’t going to work out. … While at Osler’s firm, I learned when to put my hand up and say, ‘I want to be considered for a job,’ and I learned when to fire myself … when my needs were no longer fulfilled.”

Tell me about New York.

“The people that really know me aren’t surprised I live in NYC.  I can’t imagine not being here.”

Kelly officially became a New Yorker on the day she walked across the street without looking up.  “I still pinch myself every once in a while because I look down Lexington Avenue and there’s the Chrysler Building.  And I live in the same city,” shared Kelly.

We’ll dive into Kelly’s entrepreneurial path in NYC in Part 2.  Patience.

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