KSV Advisory Canada’s Leading Boutique Advisory, Restructuring and Valuations Firm.

Both Sides Now: Our Role in Bridging the Gap from Theory to Application for New Grads

For almost 30 years of my professional career, I had the privilege of being a Professor of Economics and Industrial Relations, first at the University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and ultimately at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. During that time, I taught thousands of students at the undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral levels. I endeavoured to equip my students with the tools necessary to prepare them for any particular work setting upon their graduation. That was the hope.

The reality is that I never knew as much as I’d like to have known about what my former students were doing when they left and, most importantly, how the more general skills and knowledge-building they undertook with me translated into their employer’s businesses. How had they applied their university training? What support – mentorship, additional training, career development opportunities – did they receive, and what did they find most effective? Have they brought fresh perspectives that influence the way an organization works? Have their career aspirations been impacted by what they learned in my classroom?

I would eventually receive the answers to those questions, and it all depended on a chance meeting and the extraordinarily good fortune of making Jim Pesando’s acquaintance. Jim, who I valued as a teacher, mentor, colleague, business partner and friend, introduced me to the world of litigation economics. Through Jim, I learned how to apply my economics research to litigation economics. I had never connected the dots on my own. I got there because of Jim’s mentorship after I graduated. He introduced me to a world where my training could be applied in a real-world context.

Litigation economics is a busy service offering and is continually growing. When the opportunity to begin working with KSV Advisory arose, it was a natural fit. KSV offered an environment where I could add value and expand my litigation economics work with a team of dedicated professionals working in the same area. However, that was not the only reason I joined KSV; one of the exciting prospects for me joining was the opportunity to continue to influence young professionals, many of whom are slightly older than my former students.

As KSV grows, we recruit talented recent graduates to join our professional staff. As was the case for me, the application of their skill set to litigation support is sometimes unfamiliar territory. I now have the opportunity to introduce our Associates to what I’ve always considered to be a stimulating and ever-evolving practice area and to help them bridge the gaps between theory and application. Put simply, KSV offers an environment where new graduates or those early on in their careers can explore and learn about this unique application of the skills they already have.

I’ve learned a great deal from our KSV Associates; they have answered many of the questions that went unanswered during my time as a professor. They bring new perspectives and new methodologies and are eager to demonstrate the value they can add to our work. Introducing them to the profoundly meaningful world of litigation support can’t help but inspire the same career-long passion that I enjoy. I have found fulfillment in going from the role of a teacher to a student and ultimately back to the role of a teacher, inspiring the same understanding in my mentees as Jim did for me.

Metaphorically, I’ve shifted from waving goodbye to my students on the way out of the academy to welcoming them into their careers, and to provide continued guidance. To paraphrase a line from a well-known song (especially for those who’ve seen the motion picture “Love Actually” or watched the 2024 Grammys) written by Joni Mitchell and Pete Seeger, I see my role “from both sides now.”