Scotiabank is proud to be a military-friendly employer and we appreciate the contributions of Canada’s veterans during their time of service and beyond. We value the unique skills and experiences that veterans can offer our team and are proud to support them as they bridge their military careers to civilian employment.

To commemorate Remembrance Day 2021, we had the pleasure of chatting with two of our Veteran employees to learn more about their experience and transition into civilian employment at Scotiabank:

  • Josh (He/Him), Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives, AML Operations Governance
  • Jesse (He/Him), Business Analyst Specialist, Global Wholesale & Risk Technology

Meaghan: Thank you both for taking the time today to chat about your experience both in the military and here at Scotiabank. Firstly, what compelled you to choose Scotiabank as an employer when transitioning to civilian employment?

Josh: Scotiabank offered me a role in an industry that was up and coming and very much in line with my military experience. Risk Management draws several similarities to the military in its approach to critical thinking. In the military, you are often called upon to think outside the box as challenges may arise that fall outside the norm compared to the average Canadian’s workday. This need for creative thinking lends well to the sorts of challenges we face at Scotiabank. Scotiabank also has a similar pride in leadership as the military. With nearly two full decades of military service, I have been called upon to lead groups of 40-60 individuals. I knew that this leadership experience would be significantly transferable and valued at Scotiabank. There is a stigma that military individuals are difficult to train in the civilian world because some see them as indoctrinated or set in their old ways, akin to “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but Scotiabank saw my military experience as an asset and celebrated me for it. 

Jesse: When searching for a civilian position, I was looking to be part of a team that could recapture the same sense of quiet professionalism that I found in the military. I wanted to be part of an organization where everyone was focused, motivated to advance the team’s goals, and took pride in their work. Scotiabank presented that opportunity to be part of a team with other dedicated, goal-oriented professionals. I believe the financial industry, particularly Canadian banking, is a valuable part of the community. Working at Scotiabank is another way to capture the same feeling of contributing to an important part of society that I found serving in the Canadian military.

Meaghan: How does your experience in the military lend well to your current role at Scotiabank?  

Josh: The military is a wildly diverse assortment of cultures, perspectives, beliefs, and talent. Early on in your military career, you learn not only about people and what makes everyone unique, but more importantly, to celebrate those differences. My time in the military elevated me to several leadership roles where I learned how best to leverage and work with different perspectives which lends well to Scotiabank’s focus on diversity and inclusion. My time with the military has helped me to embrace and even seek out differences in my team, which helps foster the kind of environment we all want to see in a workplace.

Jesse: Every day, I rely on the teamwork skills and personal characteristics I developed in the military. The goal-oriented mindset and bias towards action learned during my military career allows me to break down complex challenges into manageable tasks and avoid becoming overwhelmed. A large part of the military is being part of a team, working together to identify one another’s strengths and skillsets, and knowing what needs to be done to help your team achieve its goal without being specifically told what to do. These teamwork skills and initiative are directly transferable to Scotiabank, or any civilian employer. Finally, the leadership skills I have gained through my military service are valuable in my role. I seek to understand the intent behind the goals that I am assigned, keep everyone informed of what our goal is, and communicate how everyone’s individual actions contribute to it.

Meaghan: Why is the inclusion of veterans at Scotiabank important to you?

Josh: Military personnel, either active or retired, bring a unique perspective to the workplace. They come with the skill of being calm under pressure or in high-stress situations, which can make them a huge asset in seeing gaps in what others perceive to be a well-laid plan. Since leaving the military, I can say wholeheartedly that Scotiabank is the first time I have found an employer that I could see myself going the distance with. I am proud to say that I am a Scotiabanker and would like to be until I retire. Because of this, I want to see Scotiabank continue to succeed as an organization and the ongoing inclusion of military personnel is one key to this success. 

Jesse: Scotiabank employs members of the army’s Primary Reserve – part-time soldiers who train on weekends while typically holding full-time civilian jobs. Having a workplace that encourages this form of service and is willing to accommodate the needs of reservist employees to attend training is crucial, both to the employees and Canada as a whole. Earlier this year, I was able to take time off on short notice when I was asked to teach vital pre-hospital trauma life support skills to soldiers deploying to the Middle East, something that was only possible thanks to the support of my manager at the bank. It is important to help service members understand that there is a place for them in society outside of the military. The experiences they have and the character traits they have developed in their military careers give veterans a valuable place in society and the workplace. Inclusion of service members and veterans at Scotiabank ensures that we are not an invisible group of people and everyone recognizes that service members and veterans are a part of Canadian society, not apart from it.

Meaghan: What is one thing you are especially proud of from Scotiabank’s Veteran Network Employee Resource Group (ERG)?  

Josh: In 2020, I received an invitation to take part in a live viewing of a military parade that Scotiabank had arranged all in honour of Remembrance Day. I had never seen any of my previous employers, bank or otherwise, do something like this and it felt even more special that this was still a focus during the pandemic. There were clear safety measures in place for those taking part in the ceremony in person, but attending this ceremony showed Scotiabank’s dedication to its veterans and made it clear that we were valued. 

Jesse: At the beginning of the pandemic, the Canadian Army reserves were mobilized in order to provide a large body of military personnel for tasks associated with combatting the pandemic. This was a huge undertaking, and for reservists it can be difficult to participate in these operations without the support of your employer. The Veteran Network ERG was available with information such as who to talk to, what type of leave to request, and widespread support for reservists being deployed on this important operation. This helped reservists fulfil their duty to Canada during a major crisis, while knowing they would have a job to come back to here at Scotiabank once their mission was completed. 

Meaghan: Lastly, what are your hopes for the future of Scotiabank as it relates to the inclusion of veterans? 

Josh: My time in the military has seen me work from both a reserve and regular force perspective. I can say confidently that for some, it can feel daunting to think of life outside of the military; however, at some point, most of us make the switch to the civilian side. I am hopeful that Scotiabank will continue to spread awareness about the interesting roles we have to offer to active members of the military. Scotiabank is committed to its communities and to making a difference, and there are a multitude of jobs that require the skills military personnel accrue during their service that would provide them with opportunities to continue serving their communities. 

Jesse: I am hopeful that Scotiabank will continue to engage with Canada’s veterans as they enter the civilian workforce and help them leverage the attributes they have as current or former servicemembers. The transition period from the military to the civilian workforce is often hard for veterans, as it can be difficult to find a job that gives you the same sense of purpose that you have in the military.  I hope that Scotiabank continues to show service members that that same sense of team and community is out there for them, and ease that transition for those entering the civilian workforce. It’s important that servicemembers understand that their skills and experience are valued at Scotiabank.

Learn more about career opportunities and how Scotiabank is fostering an inclusive workplace for Veterans here.