Mentorship Stories

Turner McKay and George Cooke

Turner McKay and George Cooke

At the age of 17, Turner McKay (WestJet Loran Scholar ’12) left his family’s 4,000-acre cash crop farm in southern Alberta to study commerce at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON. He joined the Queen’s marching band, taught individuals with special needs how to play guitar and operated a metal work business. For his summers, he ran a literacy camp in northern Québec and worked for PwC in Toronto.

Turner was paired with George Cooke, then-President and CEO of The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company and current board chair of OMERS. He enjoyed the opportunity to have candid conversations with George and learn from his experiences. George was struck by Turner’s determination and his openness to learning from others. “He was interested in learning as much as he could about my experiences generally and then applying that information to make decisions based on his own circumstances.”

For Turner, a pivotal mentorship moment was when he was deciding between an offer of employment from a global consulting firm and the opportunity to work for MNP’s agri-business team in Lethbridge, AB. “George made sure to tell me that when you get up every morning, you should wake up passionate about the job you want to do. His advice was instrumental in my decision to work for MNP.”

Says George: “The Loran Scholars that I have met are all quite exceptional in their own way. For those of us that are lucky enough to be able to work with them, it is an opportunity to ‘give back’ just like others did for us at critical points in our careers. And selfishly, it is very stimulating to spend time with really outstanding young people who will be tomorrow’s leaders.”

Date published: July 8, 2016