Financial institutions will visit the college until October 29
By Tania Arora, Staff Reporter
The Career Centre of Douglas College has organized a series of Finance Recruitment events from September 17 to October 29.
Six banks will be visiting Douglas College over a period of seven weeks. So far, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and RBC Insurance, Bank of Montreal (BMO), and Envision Financial have visited the college. The remaining institutions are Westminster Savings Credit Union, CIBC, and TD Bank, scheduled for October 15, 22, and 29 respectively. Students can register themselves for an upcoming event at the Career Centre’s website.
With a huge customer base, RBC is one of the largest banks in Canada and also provides services in other countries. BMO is another of the Big Five banks in the country. Envision Financial is a division of First West Credit Union, with branches throughout British Columbia and headquarters in Langley. The events involving these three institutions appear to have been a success so far, with students showing up in suits and carrying a bank of questions.
Although the events are titled Finance Recruitment, they are organized for everyone interested in starting a career in finance or banking or anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding in the fields.
Anushka Basantani, who is currently working towards a Post Degree Diploma in International Business Management, said during a conversation about Douglas College organizing these visits, “I was eagerly waiting for something like this. I wanted to know how everything works in the Canadian market. It’s good to see companies coming on campus. It gives us a chance to talk to them and gain a deeper insight of the field because someone working in that particular area can only give us the right knowledge and information.”
The companies were represented by senior officials working at advisory and managerial levels and in human resources. The managers and officials explained the ins and outs of their careers, giving introductions about the companies, training programs, certifications, and benefits available.
Avi Kay, Regional Manager at Envision Financial, responded to a participant’s question about the difference between working at a retail branch and at the headquarters. Kay said, “We call the retail banker ‘members’ because they own shares in the credit union. The nature of the bank is transactional as it involves depositing cheques, making withdrawals, solving queries, and more. With the development of the industry, we have been moving from [the] transactional to advisory part. Even a role of teller is not just to take calls but to add value to the firm.”
Kim, working in HR at Envision Financial, further added, “Headquarters have more shared services. They work to support the branches. We have departments like Finance, Accounting, Marketing, HR, IT, Corporate Security, and myriad others.”
In all the Finance Recruitment events so far, the companies discussed what it’s like to work at a financial institution and how it helps you grow. There are also many perks provided apart from competitive salaries, such as benefits that keep in mind the welfare of the employees, many of which are paid by the company.
Pratik Khasbardar, an international Finance student at Douglas College, works part-time with Scotiabank. When asked if banking is a worthwhile career, he said, “Banks have a great potential for those who want to develop and grow. It offers a wide variety of career options right from retail banking and insurance to corporate banking and much more, although it is different working at a retail branch than with the headquarters. It synchronizes with my courses really well. A career in banking can also help you manage your own finances efficiently.”
Khasbardar also broke down what retail banking is like as a career.
“Work environment in retail banking is fast-paced as we offer so many different services to our customers under one roof, but they train you well before you get onto the field,” he said. “It is also a competitive one to work within. No matter what role you are assigned, you must understand the working of the bank completely. Each and every person you come across [has] different demands with different attitudes which you have to cater to. It feels good when you get compliments for your good work from your colleagues and customers. It is definitely a rewarding one too.”
Finance as a career is not just limited to the exchange of money or advising people how to do so. It is like a tree trunk with branches spread everywhere, each of which caters to different experience, knowledge, skills, and interests. The entire industry is subdivided into multiple areas: Corporate finance, commercial banking, investment banking, hedge funds, private equity and venture capital, financial planning, insurance, public accounting, and many more. There are many jobs out there for anyone willing to be a part of the industry.
When asked by participants about what kind of students the companies are looking for, Kim answered, “Someone who is really great with people, mainly customer service skills. Since working at branch is more sales-oriented, we look for someone willing to answer all the questions and enthusiastically interacts with members and customers—not shy, and more outgoing with a positive attitude.”
Students can find jobs both online and offline. For those hoping to work at banks or other financial organizations, you should make sure that the career sections of the corporate websites you want to get into are bookmarked so that you check them regularly. Also, check that you are registered for the networking events and industry conferences of the city. Working in finance and banking requires study of the entire market, particularly the sectors you’d like to get into. Start imbibing the skills required from now on or brush them up if you’re already doing so. But most importantly, make sure finance is your cup of tea.