By Kathy McGrath
Adam Rodricks is a gamer who flips the stereotype of the reclusive, socially-awkward geek on its head. The 34-year-old West Rouge native is a talker who loves sharing his personal experiences with others in the fields of business and education.
Eight years ago, Adam became KPMG’s first national lead for digital services, guiding the large accounting firm through the murky waters of social media. Through the years, Adam’s work has expanded; he’s now a teacher, motivational speaker and author of a new book called Trigger Fingers: Personal Branding Through Storytelling.
Adam’s gaming passion is significant because it unexpectedly started his career trajectory. As a teenager, he was such a gaming fanatic that he started a blog about his hobby. A year later he applied to Nintendo to become their Canadian gaming forum moderator and got the position. He eventually became the one who directed the gaming conversation in Canada. “I really just thought I’d be adding the ‘u’ to the word colour,” Adam quips. “Little did I know these message boards would be the first iteration of social media.”
As graduation loomed, Adam received a call from Staples Canada saying they were impressed with his portfolio. “There must be a mistake, I don’t have a portfolio,” he recalls saying. “We’re talking about your blog,” they said. He became the company’s first dedicated resource on social media, and also hosted their TechTV Youtube channel.
In 2016, Adam became a digital marketing instructor at George Brown College. “I was very critical of the upper-level marketing courses at university,” he explains. “I felt the digital side of things was getting antiquated so quickly that, by the time it was being taught, it was no longer relevant. I was very vocal about this.”
Eventually someone told him to “put his money where his mouth was” and introduced him to the business chair at George Brown. “I built my course from there,” he says. This semester, he is teaching at York University.
Through teaching Adam became a strong speaker and now gives talks at libraries and the Toronto District School Board. Based on his story, he advises students to pursue their passions because that may lead to a job that doesn’t exist yet.
During the pandemic, Adam’s compiled his talks and corporate consultations to create his book, which has become a bestseller on Amazon.
“The book is for anyone who feels like they need to look at their personal and professional brand,” he explains. Weaving anecdotes from his past, Adam entertains the reader while giving timely marketing advice. Centennial residents will appreciate the book’s references to the GO train, our local waterfront and Mowat’s production of Bye Bye Birdie, among other things.
“I definitely feel I’m a product of my environment,” he says. “Growing up here with the opportunities we were given, whether extra-curricular or in the classroom, got me to that next level of schooling. It helped me to flourish because I never felt behind.”
Adam attended numerous local schools including Charlottetown preschool, St. Brendan Catholic elementary school and Sir Oliver Mowat high school. He later attended U of T Scarborough, earning a BBA with a specialization in marketing and a minor in English literature
Adam says his mother was a huge influence in his life. “She’s just an unbelievable writer and an eloquent speaker,” he says. “From a young age she ingrained in me that verbal and written communication would be the key to my success.”
Last spring, Adam and his wife purchased a house in Centennial.