Top Talent: Capilano University business student and “marketing guru” Brad Hallwood


Brad Hallwood, a fourth-year business administration student at Capilano University in Vancouver, was recently a finalist in the Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec competition this past spring, where he expressed his passion for marketing and advertising.

A self-professed “Marketing Guru,” Hallwood says he has knowledge of many facets of the marketing industry, and is constantly checking out new marketing trends.  With the goal of becoming an account executive in an advertising agency, he says Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec gave him an amazing opportunity to experience what this position would be like.

“Advertising is a competitive industry. It’s all about trying to stand out and that’s what everyone strives to do. The people who are driven to come up with that next great campaign or are driven to go the extra mile and create something truly spectacular are the ones who are going to succeed.”

Tell us about something you’ve done that is completely unrelated to your current career path that shows you’re going to be a superstar in the workforce.

I have been a sports fanatic my whole life. Yet one sport I have never played is baseball. Recently, I decided to join a softball team. Joining this league was a way for me to go outside of my comfort zone to better myself. This allowed me to make new friends, and challenge myself personally while getting in shape and having a lot of fun. I was quite hesitant at first, but after joining and putting in a little extra effort outside the normal games and practices, I find myself fitting in very well.

How can you relate your experiences in Costa Rica to your career?

There is something surreal about arriving alone on a continent where you’ve never been and have no itinerary to follow. I spent the majority of my time in Costa Rica on both the Pacific side as well as the Atlantic side and travelled to many different cities and destinations.

Before taking this trip I was at a bit of a crossroad in my life. I had just completed a two-year diploma in business administration and didn’t know what the next step for me was. I booked this trip with no itinerary and took off alone to a country I’d never been to before and no distinct plans as to where I’d go.

Looking back, it was a little crazy, but it was an experience I never will forget and [it] helped me learn so much about myself. I was there for a month and I met so many people from all over the world and was able to experience so much culture. It’s a real eye opener to see the way other people live, especially in countries where the people are less fortunate than you.

The trip allowed me to discover that I wanted to further my education and put me back on track to completing my bachelor’s degree. The experiences during this trip opened by eyes to the world and allowed me to meet new people, learn a new language and have everlasting lifelong experiences. I feel it broadened by horizons and will allow me to be more open-minded in all aspects of my life.

What was it like to attend the Vancouver 2010 Olympics?

Having the opportunity to experience firsthand the 2010 Olympics made me prouder than ever to be from Vancouver and, more importantly, to be Canadian. The buzz that filled this city was indescribable. It was a unique experience having the opportunity to walk down the street and unite with people from all over the world

After my trip to Central America, I came home with a new appreciation for where I live and for my health and safety. It was definitely an experience being in a less fortunate area of the world and at times quite terrifying even just walking down the street. I realized how lucky I am to live in a country and area where I always feel safe, have access to health care and have good family and friends who are always there to help me if I ever need it.

Being Canadian is something I take great pride in. I have lived in Vancouver all my life and every day get to wake up and experience it in all its beauty. Whether I am on the golf course, boating on the Pacific Ocean, or snowboarding on Whistler or one of the local mountains the scenery and landscape of this city and this country are truly breathtaking and should not be taken for granted.

Montezuma Falls, Costa Rica

If an employer called your best friend for a reference, what would he/she say to get you the job?

Petra Zelman, a third-year Capilano University business student and former co-worker says, “Brad is a person who combines his charismatic personality with outstanding ambition and drive.  This has shaped him to be a leader and somehow who I personally look up to.”

What’s so special about you that it would make employers climb over each other to recruit you?

A comment I often hear from people is something along the lines of, “I know you’re going to be successful.” I attribute this to my uncanny sense of ambition and drive. I am driven to not only “be successful,” but to continue learning and growing to personally better myself.  I am excited to take this drive and passion into a company where I can not only grow personally but help them succeed and grow as well.

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About the author

Danielle Lorenz is a long-time contributor to the Career Incubator. Danielle is a PhD student in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta. When procrastinating from schoolwork, you will find Danielle lurking on several social media platforms and trying to befriend the snowshoe hares on the U of A campus.