A Reference from God

This post isn’t going to focus on an MBA and the merits surrounding its relevance in this day and age. However in a recent conversation I was having with my good friend of mine, Rose Ahlan from my Ontario Power Generation, it was top of mind.

Rose, a current Schulich MBA student (super smart girl) was giving me some advice on the guidelines surrounding an MBA admission process. The situation was this . . . when I was rushing through my undergraduate degree which I managed to complete on a part time basis in nearly the same time frame as my full time counterparts . . .  while working full time managing the marketing world at BAASS (yeah I’m so great), I lost sight of my grade point average (GPA).  The dreaded GPA . . . my last semester at Sheridan College resulted in a GPA of 3.8 out of 4 (not bad). My University results were sadly average. Rose in her infinite wisdom described another MBA candidate within the international program that had a similar background as me who had no obstacles gaining admission. This of course put my mind to ease. But the kicker was Rose’s final comments to me to conclude the conversation, “well you could always just get a reference letter from GOD – that should expedite the process. You were always GOD’s favourite”.

GOD, in Rose and my conversation was referencing Gregory OD Smith, the current President and CEO of Urenco North America and my personal mentor. Gregory was often dubbed GOD due to his middle initials OD. Ironically or perhaps this was intentional whenever his office would call the phone display would read simply; GOD – hence the reference. I met Gregory while working at Ontario Power Generation where he was the Senior V.P. of Darlington Nuclear. I know what you’re thinking the rest of this post is dedicated to my mentorship tales of wisdom from Gregory but there not – although I’d probably need a good weekend straight to describe to you how amazing this individual is. With Rose’s comment I began to wonder what a reference letter would look like if it was addressed from God – the spiritual all mighty.

So here goes. . .

To whom it may concern,

Imran Syed serves me with love and respect. He maintains his individuality while constantly demonstrating his devotion. Imran is ambitious, focused, and can balance the world I’ve created in order to serve the greater good.

One of his major strengths would be his ability to learn, retain, and apply his knowledge base. Imran continues to make mistakes, each and everyday. But why I can stand behind him in his darkest hours is because he refuses to lose sight of hope even against infinite failures.  It’s only in the dark of night that you can see the stars.

I strongly encourage you to consider Imran within your organization, family, and world – I know I have.

Best Regards,



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