James Temple is a 28-year-old philanthropic YP powerhouse. He sits on advisory councils at various charities and donates countless hours of his time to causes he's passionate about. Not too shabby, considering this Ryerson University grad – who was named one of the school's Top 30 Under 30 alumni in 2009 – also has a robust career as the Director of Corporate Responsibility for PwC. Find out more about this YP in today's feature.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m the Director of Corporate Responsibility for PwC and have a dual role leading the PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation. I help our firm embed good social, environmental, and economic values into our business operations. I also report back to our stakeholders on the progress we’re making against our socially-minded key performance indicators. I’m an important connecter between our company and the community, leading cutting edge conversations about emerging social issues that need to be integrated into sustainable business practices. Think of me like PwC’s social agent of change.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I chose to work at PwC because I feel the firm shares my personal values and has an authentic reputation for being one of Canada’s best employers for young professionals to develop their careers. I found a great role leading a team of smart, passionate and skilled Corporate Responsibility professionals who inspire me each and every day!
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my job is having the opportunity to meet everyday people who have extraordinary stories to tell. I get to listen, learn and help empower them to make a difference through our business and the community. I think I’ve got the best job in the world – even if all the competing priorities and deadlines feel a bit like air traffic control at times!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’ve learnt that the best experiences in life happen when you least expect them. As much as I’d like to say I’ll be leading a company if five years, I think I'd rather take the winding road that’s full of new adventures and spend some time enjoying the scenery.
What does success look like to you?
Success is that distinctive ‘It Factor’ feeling you get when you look at someone and can’t help but be inspired by their passion, humility, and efforts to help other people achieve their goals. That’s an aspiration I’d like to achieve.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Earlier this year I delivered a presentation at the World Volunteer Forum in Singapore. My mom told me she was really proud of me for that. Call me a kid at heart, but I really love when I make my parents proud.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
You’ve got to always remember to keep your ego in check and have confidence in the fact that people who are good listeners tend to get a lot further ahead. I’d like to think I’m one of those people.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Philanthropy is a big part of my life. I volunteer hundreds of hours of my personal time every year on advisory councils for not-for-profit organizations like the Ontario Association of Food Banks, YMCA, Sheena’s Place, the Institute at Havergal College, and the Association of Corporate Grantmakers. I’m passionate about sharing my professional skills with charities to help augment the effectiveness of their work.
What to you is notable?
Being notable is about the work you do while striving to become remarkable.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Blackberry all the way! We’ve got to support great Canadian companies like RIM.