Aaron Smith, senior manager, Ottawa Health Lead, EY

2017 Forty Under 40 recipient
Aaron Smith

Age: 39

Birthplace: Sackville, N.B.

Company: Multinational professional services firm

Education: MBA, Schulich School of Business (2007); bachelor of science (genetics), Western University (2002)

Charitable involvement: Ottawa Jewish Community School, Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation, Bruyere Research Institute

Biggest biz achievement: Becoming the innovation lead at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, contributing to the establishment and growth of an international consulting group at the hospital and contributing to the establishment and growth of a national health advisory practice at EY.

Biggest obstacle: Learning to balance out my life. I am still learning this; some days I do well, some days I do not. I think this is a lifelong pursuit that is more about trade-offs than work-life balance per se. If you want to pursue success, you seem to always be out of balance one way or another; the key I have learned is to allow yourself to focus on what is important to you, so defining what is important to you is essential.

Biggest influence: I have been very lucky to have many mentors and strong support networks at key stages in my life. Consistently, my family has had the greatest positive influence on me. I am blessed to have a very large family and we support each other in many ways both professionally and personally.

Biggest lesson learned: Failure can be a motivator. I was unsuccessful in my first application to business school right out of undergrad. It angered me but ultimately motivated me to find a more focused path. I was successful a couple of years later in applying to Schulich and studying strategy and health industry management. That initial failure is what put me on the path I am on today.

First job: Busboy at Smitty's

Advice I’d give the younger me: Travel more, read more, love more, eat less.

What’s left to do: So much: Raise my kids, show them the world, learn new hobbies, gain more international experience, continue to grow the EY health practice to make the Canadian health care system better!

Favourite pastime: Playing sports

I’m currently reading: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Favourite movie: The Usual Suspects

Favourite song: Rosalita by Bruce Springsteen

Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Fury FC

Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest

Preferred social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn

Twitter handle: @aaronssmith