Please update your browser.
Applications Support Team Lead
Growing up, Ross's parents wanted him to become a pilot for an airline. “I think mostly it was because they wanted to fly for free," he laughs. Unfortunately, his eyesight was less than perfect, and he had to give up his dreams of flight. Instead, he took up computer science, where he thrived. "I really had a knack," he recalls.
Ross parlayed those skills into coding software systems, then running those systems at financial services firms, performing upgrades and adjustments when needed.
His career seems very far from the clouds he once dreamed of soaring through, but there are a few similarities. Ross has weathered his share of ups and downs, with bouts of turbulence along the way, but his training and unwavering professionalism have helped him land himself, his team and clients safely every time.
Who or what inspires you?
A simple line I cannot attribute to someone, goes something like: “Be the person you wished was there for you." I want to be a great parent for my children, I want to be an earnest and understanding manager to my team, and I want to be the person that can be relied upon to deliver. I make that happen.
What is something that surprised you about working in the corporate world?
I think many people still might have this idea that the corporate world lacks diversity. But what I've found is incredible diversity! Whether it's gender, race, sexual orientation, or in my case, neuro-diversity.
Relatively late in life, I was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, and it changed my life, my outlook and how I think about who I am. Some time ago, I was invited to a firm presentation about neuro-diversity and I was blown away. All these people in a room were learning about and discussing autism and what it is to be on the spectrum; how that can impact people, their families, and also their career. That sort of education within a firm is not something I was familiar with, and it's so affirming for those of us who are neuro-diverse.
I'm very involved now in sharing my own experiences, giving talks and building better understanding. I've learned to take that forward into my career and try and to make a difference by improving overall understanding in that there is a diversity in people that we need to appreciate.
If you could talk to your younger self about the path your career has taken, what would you say?
That younger self didn't know that he was autistic so I don't know how much sense it would make, but I would tell that young man to trust the work that he's putting in because it pays off, and to trust in the process because it yields so many unexpected opportunities.
Can you tell us about one such opportunity?
I had been at a job for a few years when my manager told me that he was moving on. He said that he felt good about it because he was leaving the team in good hands with me. Up to that point I hadn't really seen myself as a manager of others, so it was really validating to hear this from someone I respected. From there I moved into leadership roles managing fantastic people. That led my life in a different path and, recently, to a promotion to Vice President!