A match made at Warwick
Despite originating from opposite sides of the world, Frank and Kate Dempsey (both MBA Business Administration, 2008) met through friends while studying at WBS. Fast forward 14 years and they live in Toronto, Canada with their young family. Discover their favourite memories of Warwick, why they chose to study at WBS and what the future holds.
What’s your favourite memory of Warwick?
Frank: Besides meeting Kate, my graduation ceremony was an amazing day. After so many months of studying and working hard, it was great to have my family and classmates there to celebrate with me and there was a fantastic reception afterwards. Kate and I have a great picture of us getting our degrees together.
Kate: I was fortunate to meet one of my best friends on the course, Vanessa Nelemans, who is now our eldest son’s godmother. It was the day-to-day memories of being with Frank, Vanessa and our other friends that I enjoyed the most.
What drew you to studying at WBS?
Kate: I’d previously worked briefly at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand in the Commerce Faculty. There I met Professor Brenda Porter who’d taught at WBS and recommended Warwick’s MBA. I then moved to the UK as an Internal Auditor at GSK and received further recommendations from colleagues about attending Warwick. Warwick seemed so authentic, welcoming and a home away from home.
Frank: In 2005, I was living in Paris and looking to finish my military career to begin working in the family business, Dempsey Corporation. To do this, I felt I needed to further my business education. I went to a recruitment fair and met an amazing recruiter from Warwick, who really sold WBS to me. I was impressed by the strong ranking position, the small classes and the international cohort as I wanted to learn from classmates and academics from a diversity of backgrounds. The opportunity to travel to places like Shanghai as part of my exchange course and attend the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) was also exciting.
How did your MBA at Warwick help your career?
Kate: The MBA gave me a more rounded experience of business. It’s also an intense course, which forced me to be very organised, which is a skill I still use daily. The softer courses on the MBA around leadership and communication have been very helpful in managing a team, while the syndicate groups taught me the value of putting the team first. The value of having an MBA from Warwick is great for your CV and career progression.
Frank: Warwick’s diversity was great for my career. Being able to learn from people from a variety of cultures, industries and countries broadened my perspective on how to run businesses in different countries, manage relationships and communicate effectively. The trip to Shanghai enhanced this even further. Courses on critical reasoning and strategy also helped me make better business decisions later in life.
What are your interests outside of work?
Kate: Sport plays a big part in the life of our family, and was actually one of the ways we got to know each other at Warwick. We’d often go on early morning runs, with Frank reminding me to be careful of the Canada geese! More recently, we joined the ski club which has been a fantastic way to get me through the cold Toronto winter! We try to be involved positively in our local community too. Frank recently volunteered with the kids to clean our local park, for example.
Frank: A huge part of our lives is dedicated to our young family. We do enjoy travelling and are fortunate that we have family living nearby who can look after the kids on the rare occasion that we do get away for a weekend.
What are your plans for the future?
Frank: I’d like to see the family business grow, be more successful and be even more inclusive. I’m looking forward to supporting our young family in the next stages of their lives, both educationally and personally. I’d love to one day revisit Warwick and show the kids where we met.
Kate: I love my current job as Senior Manager Finance at TD Bank and recently took on an expanded mandate in my role. I’m looking forward to taking on more exciting opportunities at TD in the future. I joined TD Bank in 2014 through the Rotman Back to Work Program that I attended for women who have taken an extended leave from work (I took time off work to be with the children). I want to 'pay it forward' and support other women as they re-enter the workforce after a time of extended leave. I am very passionate about helping women to be successful in their careers.