His switch from medicine to finance — he’s now a director with RBC — is evidence that Adam Cheung ’03 doesn’t shy away from challenges or change.
Tell us a bit about yourself: work, life, interests or anything you want to share.
Well, 2022 was an incredible year for me. I got married, bought a home and changed jobs. Looking ahead to 2023, I’m hoping to spend more time with family and friends, and focus on my interests, including music, sports, food, travel, podcasts and books.
You completed your medical education to become a doctor, and now you’re in the finance world. Please share when your focus changed.
I was fortunate to have some great university options across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. In the end, and direct entry into medical school abroad seemed like a smart choice. Before I knew it, I had progressed through medical school, residency and into family medicine.
Medicine is meaningful work — and a fascinating intellectual challenge. Few jobs offer the emotional “highs” that you can experience. When I reflect on my decision to pivot careers, it was less of a “push” away from medicine and more of a “pull” towards other interests.
I had always been curious about finance and business. I knew that I wanted the opportunity to lead teams. I wanted to operate in roles and/or industries where success was closely tied to talent and performance. It also helped that I could draw on examples close to home — witnessing family members make bold choices in their careers and achieve a lot of success. In the end, I decided to pursue an MBA — giving me the skills, knowledge, confidence and credibility to make the transition from medicine into finance. And I haven’t looked back.
What’s something you wish you could tell your UCC self?
Two pieces of advice: first, take advantage of the tremendous opportunities at UCC. Second, make sure to savour all of the incredible moments with friends, teammates and teachers. You only get to do it once!
What other advice would you give to current UCC students?
A lot of things come to mind. For starters, be passionate, curious and positive. Read as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Surround yourself with the best and brightest people. Travel when you’re young.
How do you feel your time at UCC prepared you for your career?
For me, UCC was the best training ground I could ask for. I learned how to balance academics, athletics, arts and other interests, along with a busy social life. I gained knowledge, skills and self-belief. And, most importantly, I walked out of there with deep, lifelong friendships.
What are you most proud of?
My wife, my family, my friends.