Our Director of Campus Recruitment, Mike, met Ryan at an event on campus – the way we like to meet our students! Ryan Kwast has been working with us in a really cool role, totally different to what he studies at school – Applied Mathematical Engineering!
Intrigued? Keep reading!
Anne: Tell me a bit about yourself and how you found out about your current role?
Ryan: I’m about to start my third year at Queen’s University (studying Applied Mathematical Engineering) and I am working in the Salesforce Support team right now! I met Mike on campus at CIRQUE (Conference of Resources for Queen’s University Engineers) – which was the Queen’s conference for engineering students to learn about roles that aren’t traditionally engineering-focused. I then was able to chat with Mike, learn more about him and the culture at the Bank which sounded awesome! He was great and connected me with a number of people on the Campus Recruitment Team and I was able to find a role of interest for me! You never know what opportunities are going to come your way when you’re at university and you have to make the most of them. That’s why I always push myself to try new things, be open and receptive!
Anne: How would you describe the role to someone who hasn’t heard about it before?
Ryan: Yeahhhh… so…*Ryan laughs*…I’ve been able to do so many things! I support daily issues that arise and have learned how to operate a platform as well as support some projects, which has been really interesting. I have some internal and external clients and I work with a lot of data which is awesome! There is another student working with me in the group so it’s a great experience to be able to bounce ideas off each other while working and go through the learning curve together!
Anne: What has been a highlight for you during your time at the Bank? It sounds like you’ve been exposed to so much so I’m sorry if this is a bit of a tough question!
Ryan: You’ll never guess what I was doing last summer. I was working as a landscaper in a cemetery! So I’ve been experiencing many new things over the course of this work term. I’ve been working in an office environment which I haven’t done before and it’s been awesome to have the office located in downtown Toronto! Being downtown is awesome because there’s so much to do and in the past few years, being in Kingston, I haven’t had as much time to explore the city!
Anne: How was your co-op placement different from what you initially expected?
Ryan: Oh wow! So many things which is great! I’ve definitely developed as a person! When I first started, I knew that I’d be interacting with a variety of people across the Bank. I’ve been given a project by my Director (Mike Olexiuk). It’s been an awesome way to work with another student who was a co-op last year (Cole Rudnick) and learn from him! Speaking of that, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a variety of individuals at the Bank which has been great.
Anne: So tell me… what are your thoughts on going back to school after your work term here with us?
Ryan: I’m really looking forward to having my friends all back in one spot! Although a lot of my friends have been in the city from Kingston, I’m looking forward to having all of us in one spot again. I have tried to see most of them to avoid eating lunch at my desk!
Anne: Who would you say is the most impressionable person you’ve met during your time at the Bank?
Ryan: I’ve met so many people while I’ve been here since May that it’s actually really hard to narrow it down! Everyone is cool in their own unique ways! I would definitely say that Michelle Addorisio has been awesome and a role model. She has a really massive network and has been great at introducing me to some of her connections! It is highly evident that she really values students which is great!
Anne: What will you miss most about Scotiabank?
Ryan: I’m trying not to make this sound cliché but definitely the people. There are so many interns and other individuals to connect with while we’re here that you have to make the most of it while you can! There is no limit to how many people you can get to know and the experiences you can get involved with. I’m really looking forward to keeping the connections that I’ve made while I’m here.
Anne: You should start an intramural team with the students that you’ve met that go to Queen’s!
Ryan: Haha I totally should! I’m also involved with All The Queen’s Men (A cappella group) if you know what that is! I actually think my voice improved last summer when I was a landscaper as I was allowed to listen to music all day so I ended up singing a lot on the job!
Anne: That’s such an awesome A cappella group! It’s great that you’re involved with so many things outside of just engineering extra-curricular activities! So you’ve obviously been at a number of work events / social events, which ones have you especially enjoyed?
Ryan: You’re right! I was a Future Leaders Challenge participant which was great! We were able to come up with an idea and offer some guidance to other teams. It was an awesome way to act as a bit of a consultant and be creative while meeting some new people! I’ve also come out to some Student Committee events which was lots fun. My goal has really been to go to as many events as possible outside of my day-to-day work and to connect with as many people as I can on a personal level.
Interested in learning more? Feel free to reach out and we'd love to hear from you!