Toronto, ON — Patrick Chan believes there is never a replacement for hard work. He should know. His career began at age 15, working at The Great Canadian Bagel – and he’s held a job ever since.
Patrick emigrated with his family from Hong Kong to Toronto when he was seven years old. The family didn’t know many people in the area, and sacrificed so much in their decision to move, but the promise of opportunities overseas provided the courage they needed to take the leap. Growing up, his parents made a huge impression on him. Always seeking to give their family a better life, they worked incredibly hard. They did not work high paying positions; in fact, there was a time when his mother even worked two jobs. Both parents carried the expectation that he’d become something like an accountant or a banker. Most importantly, they had the aspiration that he would find a safe and stable career. But when he was considering the possibility of becoming an accountant, he figured such a job would be replaced by computers in his lifetime and decided to take a different route toward the safe and stable career his parents hoped for him.
From Salesforce to PayPal, and ultimately Sezzle, Patrick counts himself as fortunate to have been able to work for companies he deeply believes in on a personal level.
It was his very first job out of school at Cintas that shaped the course of his life and career in a pivotal way. He’d originally been rejected, but he remained persistent. He ended up meeting a representative from the company at a job fair where he pleaded his case, adding that he hadn’t felt well at the time. They were able to make an arrangement to work around the company’s typical rule that a candidate couldn’t reapply before a two-year wait period by setting him up for an interview at a different location. This interview went exceptionally well.
After Cintas, Patrick moved to Salesforce, where he learned that the business of business is improving the state of the world. Then in 2014, Patrick proactively sought out a career opportunity at PayPal via a LinkedIn message and was thrilled to become a part of their company, focusing on growing the Large Enterprise sector in both Canada and the US.
What ultimately brought him to Sezzle was the mission and people. When he heard about the chance to build and manage a team for Sezzle in Canada, he knew he couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
“To give without expectation”
What have been some of your most rewarding experiences?
“I love helping people looking to grow their careers and helping those that want to follow in my footsteps. I’ve been an active volunteer in Toronto, having dedicated much of my life to causes I believe in, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, which I was actively involved with for 6 years. Every two weeks I’d meet with my little brother, Ahmad. I mentored him from Grade 4 all the way through high school! It was one of my most rewarding experiences to date, guiding him and then watching him go out into the world and do amazing things.”
What are you most proud of?
“That I’ve been able to balance work and family and that I’ve been there for my daughter. I managed to give my baby Kaia (who is now two years old) a bath every day since she was born, the only exception being less than five times!”
How has your identity influenced your work?
“As an immigrant child, I saw how my family had to be resourceful and resilient. These are characteristics that I carry with me and shape how I make decisions everyday.”
Do you have any family or cultural traditions that are especially meaningful to you that you would like to share?
“Prior to Covid, we would meet as a family on Sundays for traditional dim sum, and enjoy some favorite dishes like cha siu bao (pork buns), fung jao (chicken feet), and har gow (shrimp dumplings). We can’t wait to restart this tradition soon!”
“I am a big believer in that ‘you don’t know where you’re going, unless you know where you’ve come from,’ so we’re raising our daughter to know and understand her roots. This includes celebrating traditions, learning multiple languages, and meeting our families in Hong Kong and Manila. Our ardant wish is for her to recognize that she stands on the shoulders of those who have come before her.”