Five finance industry professionals shared their knowledge with University Canada West students during a recent career panel.

“Our students were able to gain valuable insight into what a career in the financial industry might be like,” said Devi Sharma, one of UCW’s Career Services Specialists.

The panelists represented some of Canada’s leading financial institutions. Arash Salamati, District Manager of Tangerine Banking Services; Lindsay Davies, HR Lead of Talent Acquisition Western Canada, Scotiabank; Sasha Morales, Branch Manager Scotiabank Vancouver; Meghan Stanley, Assistant Manager RBC; Maurio dos Santos, Financial Advisor Scotiabank all took part.

They shared their professional journeys in banking, focusing on successes, barriers and what it takes to succeed in the Industry. The session was moderated by Dr. Michele Vincenti, UCW’s Graduate Program Chair.

Arash told the 85 students in attendance that he never intended on a career in banking and that he started more than 20 years ago as a part-time bank teller pursuing a law degree.

However, he felt drawn to a career in the banking industry, eventually landing several management opportunities and now managing a complete district.

Maurio discussed his struggles as a new Immigrant with an MBA, who looking to establish a career. He said that he knew he had to change his networking strategies and meet people from diverse backgrounds in order to change his outcomes.

He loved playing soccer and decided to join a random team to both meet new people and create a larger network. This plan not only expanded his personal relationships, but launched his new career in banking. Maurio had never considered this industry and proudly shared the moment he was approached to join the “scotiabankers” team. It was a life-changing moment for him and his family.

Meghan shared her experience of being a millennial and entering the banking Industry. She talked about the importance of networking and being open to learning. Communication is the key to growth, as you need to seek feedback rather than wait for it. I

Meghan said it’s okay to say you don’t know how to do something, but you must always be willing to learn. She set goals for herself that were realistic. Meghan is constantly motivating and mentoring others to never give up, but be prepared to work hard. She is currently an assistant branch manager at RBC.

Lindsay discussed talent acquisition with the students, who were eagerly anticipating insider information on the hiring process in the banking industry.

She asked thought provoking statements such as “how many seconds do you think we take to look at your resume?” Lindsay also shared the importance of having the right attitude and getting involved in your community.

“It is not just about the education, but the entire package of skills, experiences and attitude that make the difference,” she said.

The event concluded with the students having the opportunity to network with the panelists, and exchange contact information on career opportunities.