Alumni Spotlight is a series of interviews conducted of members of the Dalhousie Alumni Association.
Class of ‘87
Current role: President and Founder, Wilson Executive Search
President of Dalhousie Alumni Association
Dal Football Club founder
Dal Gazette: What made you decide to become a “head hunter”?
Jim Wilson: I really wanted to do something that was investigative yet business related—headhunting is both, and makes a lot of use of the case method approach taught in the MBA program.
DG: Why did you decide to attend Dalhousie?
JW: I always wanted to live in Halifax, and Dal offered me a fellowship for full funding while I was there.
DG: Where did you live while you were at Dal?
JW: I lived in an apartment right near the Dal campus.
DG: Where could you be found most often on campus while you were at Dal?
JW: Grad House—the old one, which used to be right next to the SUB at the corner of LeMarchant and University. I had many good times there!
DG: Favourite place to study while at Dal?
JW: The Killam Library.
DG: What was your biggest distraction while you were at Dal?
JW: I had lined up a job 6 months before the end of my MBA—it was very hard to stay focused on school.
DG: What was your favourite cafeteria food on campus?
JW: I did not eat at the cafeteria. An extra-large pepperoni Peter’s Pizza or No. 2 special at the Garden View Chinese Restaurant on Spring Garden Road—or a late night donair downtown.
DG: Did you have a nickname at Dal?
JW: No—not that I am aware of.
DG: What is your favourite Dal memory?
JW: My favourite memory is the first Dal home football game on Wickwire Field after a 34-year hiatus—3000 fans all in black and gold, a beer garden—the whole experience was incredible. The Dalhousie alumni came together to finance, coach and organize the team – and the students came to play football and to have a great time as spectators. It was truly a meeting of Dalhousians, past and present.
DG: How did your Dal experience prepare you for your current role?
JW: The MBA taught me the case method, which I use every day in my business, and highlighted the importance of networking.
DG: What do you see as the best thing about being a Dal alum?
JW: The best thing is definitely connecting with current Dal students—they blow me away. Connecting with them and fellow alum is really amazing. Also, I look good in Black & Gold—way better than maroon. And I don’t like wearing rings!
DG: Do you have any words of wisdom for current Dal students – something you wish you had known when you were a student?
JW: One of the most valuable things you can do is get involved with Dal while you are a student and after. The more you put into the experience the more you will get out of it. We can all make a difference as new and old Dalhousie students—all 105,000 of us! Engaged students become engaged alumni.