Meet Daniel: Business Guru, IT Expert, and Instructor of the Year

Daniel Dubreuil has made a career out of combining his passions for sales, technology, and teaching. An award-winning salesman, he embraced the power of computers early on and has shared his experience and expertise with hundreds of students over the years.

He has been teaching at Herzing for 25 years and was recently recognized as our Instructor of the Year—the third time he has received that honour!

We spoke with Daniel recently to learn more about his fascinating career journey. Here are the highlights of that conversation.

Q. Could you share a bit about your professional background?

Daniel: Back in 1982, I was a real estate agent, and I was asked to teach other agents. I was good in math and they wanted me to teach the financial math program.

So I started with that, and then ended up teaching the selling program, which was my strength. I was salesman of the year in two different cities for the same company.

They asked me to teach selling and then law and it just kept going. I was in demand. I became an instructor for a real estate company across Canada, so I was travelling and teaching at the same time.


Q. Your background was in sales. How did you get into IT?

Daniel: My son had a bad accident, and it forced me to make a change in my career instead of being on the road all the time. I’d been selling full time and teaching on the weekend, and I decided I wanted to teach all the time.

I’d been a computer fan since 1985—I used to buy a computer every two or three months and do some programming. So I decided to take a class. And from that class, Herzing came to me and said they’d like me to teach at the college.

I started at Herzing in 1999. I teach networking, marketing, sales, and accounting. Right now I’m developing the business program online.


Q. What inspired you to become an instructor?

Daniel: I like to see the eyes glow when people understand something. No matter how many students you have, there’s always one that’s going to have the lightbulb go on.

I’ve got something I can provide. There’s one thing that people would like to buy but nobody can sell, which is experience. And I had a lot of experience in real estate. So they asked me if I would like to train. Training people to sell, that’s what I love.

When I had to change my career to become a teacher, I said, well, I like computers, so why not go into that? So after 15 years of buying computers and developing programming stuff, I decided to take a class, and I fell in love with that again.

I became an instructor in the field of networking. I accumulated certifications.


Q. How do you enjoy being at the intersection of business and technology?

Daniel: I love it because the soft skills you need today are either using a computer or selling something. And I’m teaching in both departments.

I had one guy who was a genius with computers. He was doing things with computers that were amazing, but he was charging nothing. I tell my students that you spend $20,000 to learn something, and if somebody in your family asks you to do what you do for $5, that’s not selling.

I teach them how to do their job, but also how to get their money back for what they invested to learn the skills. Selling is my life.


Q. What is your approach to teaching?

Daniel: If you just read a book, it’s not learning. But if you are in an environment where you are challenged all the time and you need to achieve things and you don’t have the answer right away, that’s when learning happens.

We don’t spoon feed you. You need to understand that when you leave here, you’ll have to do it on your own. You have to develop your skills. You need to practise.

I’m a salesman at heart. I like to tell my students that today, what I’m going to sell you is how to succeed in your life.

There are things that are not easy. There are a lot of things I don’t like to do. Accounting, for instance. You could not imagine how much I hate accounting, but I’m the best teacher of accounting you will ever have because I’ve learned in business how to make money using accounting.


Q. How has teaching changed with online learning?

Daniel: You need to create this virtual environment where people connect, so they’re not just sitting there watching a screen. They’re part of the actual process. Students use their cell phones every day and they do FaceTime and they have conversations and they feel like they’re part of the process even though they’re looking at a screen.

We can implement that in a classroom. So you don’t just talk for two hours. You give them time to work, but you supervise it. You have one-on-ones. You create teams and have them work together. The virtual becomes more and more real as we go on with the training.


Q. What are you most proud of accomplishing in your career?

Daniel: I tell my students that if I got 1% of the salary for all the students I’ve touched, I would be a millionaire today.

I like to think that every time one of my students succeeds, I was a small part of it. That makes me proud. It means we’re doing something right—not just me, but the whole training team.



Herzing College offers a variety of career-focused programs in business and technology that can be completed in two years or less. Many programs are delivered online, and most include internships for real work experience.

Click below to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals.

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