At Scotiabank, we recognize and appreciate the contributions of Canada’s veterans and reservists – during their time of service and beyond. We value the talent advantage they can offer our team and are proud to have the experience and resources to support them. Keep reading to take a look at Roman, Paul, and Ethan’s experiences as Scotiabankers and in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Maria: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Roman: Sure! I joined the military in 2000 where I started off as an Officer but then became a Non-Commissioned member after falling short on phase 3 of officer training. Around 2004, I spent a year with Princess Patricia’s Infantry, later moving to The Canadian Special Operations Forces where I spent the rest of my career. I then released in 2012 which led me to start setting new conditions for my life. I completed my MBA at Laurier University and had a couple of jobs before landing at Scotiabank where I have been working in Corporate Security ever since. I also have three kids – one of them being a newborn – so I am definitely busy outside of work as well [Laughs].
Ethan: I joined The Army Reserve in 2008 because I had always wanted to jump out of a plane and drive a tank… but then I was told I had to become an Artillery Officer [Laughs]. All jokes aside, I did my officer training while in university where I would travel to Gagetown, New Brunswick, or Petawawa, Ontario, every summer. Thanks to this, I was fully qualified before graduating! As an Artillery Officer, I train on the weekends or weeknights and Scotiabank also gives me a minimum of two weeks off every summer to do so; I’m very thankful for this.
My journey at the Bank began with our Summer Student program while I was in high school; I am now working as an Accounting Officer in the Mutual Fund Administration. In terms of fun, I love to snowboard and I am also a big soccer fan!
Paul: I joined the Military as a Ceremonial Guard on Parliament Hill in 1992 but later joined the Army for a number of years. Much like Roman, I transitioned from the Conventional Forces to the Special Operations Forces and finished off my career there. Doing so gave me all kinds of great exposure to different places and people, and for that, I am extremely thankful. I then decided that it was time to do something different and I joined Scotiabank as Director of Operational Process Improvements for Global Wholesale Operations. It’s completely different, I’ve learned something new every day, and certainly apply all the lessons that Military service has taught me. I also have three kids and like to remain as active as possible; I enjoy the challenges of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu although a couple of shoulder injuries have taken me off the mats for a little bit.
Maria: Thank you very much for your service and sharing your experiences! How would you describe your “average” day to others?
Paul: For me, I spend half of my workdays in meetings and the other half actually traveling to and from them. In Global Wholesale Operations, I focus on changing the way the organization is configured – I centralize functions in the trade cycle and ensure that the supporting technology is there. Our team also provides some project management services and project oversight, but more often than not it’s enabling change for the internal stakeholders within the team.
Roman: There is no average day for me; every day is different, which is awesome! I live two hours away from the office, so I’m in the office two days a week and work from home the rest. The days that I am in the office, I touch base with counterparts in the Caribbean, Central America, and Uruguay, to keep tabs on what’s going on and report on it to our regional leadership. I maintain oversight of the security programs that the Bank runs. After my day working, I get to spend some time with my kids and work some more in the evenings for our personal businesses. My wife and I first started the businesses to teach our kids about entrepreneurship, so they are very involved as well, although they are still young.
Ethan: My whole philosophy is to try to get more done in the morning than most people do in the day, so I run to work as I’m only 10kms away from the office and get to the office before 7:30 a.m. to get a head start. In Mutual Funds, I work with other institutions and companies to reduce losses for our side here at the Bank; each day is different for me in the office. After work, I normally go to the gym and then go home.
Maria: Can you share how your experiences serving with the Canadian Armed Forces have helped you in your career development?
Paul: The military gave me a lot of tools and experiences that have been informative: the leadership training and emotional stability are essential. As a leader, you need to be consistent with your reactions; both courage and cowardice or panic and calmness are all contagious elements. In times of crisis, people will look up to you as the people manager and leader. I always think that as a people manager, you have to look after your troops and the troops will look after you.
Roman: I completely agree with Paul. Serving in the Canadian Armed Forces taught me how to iterate, identify failure, and always strive for better. We were taught to do this very quickly and that is a key trait that we have all developed within our career span. Try to fail fast and fail early. Our planning and strategic thinking skills have also evolved from our experiences.
Ethan: I agree as well – and I’d also like to add that the planning, adaptability, and ability to try different scenarios in the Army helped us all. It’s okay to try new things and fail as long as we get something out of it and learn.
Maria: How do you derive purpose from your role at Scotiabank? Does it resemble or differ from your purpose in the Canadian Armed Forces?
Paul: We may never be able to replicate the sense of purpose that one gets after defending the nation. However, once I transitioned to the Bank, I told the hiring committee when I joined that I would have never seen myself working at a bank. Low and behold, here I am now! Ironically, I was in Afghanistan during the financial crisis and I was largely oblivious to it as I was more focused on staying alive at the time. Now, our lives may not directly be on the line, but we need to also think of others. For example, somebody losing their life savings later on in life may influence them to make some unwise decisions. I am no longer defending the nation, and although I am not customer-facing, I want to help defend the integrity of this institution and the financial sector by making sure that we are doing things prudently and with integrity.
Roman: I definitely agree with Paul, but it has been a bit more difficult for me to derive purpose in my professional life because the purpose I previously had of being in the war is noncomparable. One thing for sure is that my family will always be my purpose.
Ethan: Completely agreed. We all love working at Scotiabank and we really appreciate everything they are doing to bring more Veterans in, especially through the Scotiabank Veterans Network. We are grateful.
Scotiabank is proud to be a Military Friendly Employer. If you’re a reservist or a veteran interested in pursuing a career with Scotiabank, please view our current opportunities.