Interview written and conducted by Anne Orr, Former Campus Talent Attraction Lead - Enterprise Functions and Strategy
Sierra Hardy, an Economics and Psychology student studying at Queen’s University, is doing her second internship with Scotiabank and has had some very unique experiences here. For example, she worked on the True Patriot Love Multinational Symposium which Prince Harry attended at our very own Scotiabank Centre.
Intrigued as to how she did this while working at Scotiabank? Keep reading!
Anne: Tell me about yourself and how you first heard about us and the role!
Sierra: I am so excited to be doing this article and to share some experiences with you! I am a soon-to-be fourth-year student at Queen’s majoring in Economics and Psychology. I was originally connected by a family friend in my 2nd year at Queen’s and I was looking around for exciting and unique opportunities. I saw a job description for a role within International Wealth Management which sounded like a great fit. I really didn’t know much about Wealth Management or what it was, but I loved the idea of having a role that touched the international space. It sounded like a fantastic opportunity so I applied and was lucky enough to land the role! I absolutely loved the role last summer and it was more than I could have ever imagined!
I had the opportunity to meet with Michael Shelsen and Jennifer Slegers during my first summer to discuss a recruitment opportunity for a conference at Queen’s, which I helped to create. Some amazing people from the Bank attended, including Brett House (Deputy Chief Economist) and Shawn Rose (Chief Digital Officer), along with some members of the Campus Recruitment Team! Through working with the team and getting to know each other, they put me in touch with some great people in the business, including my current reporting manager, Amanda! I am now working on the Structural Cost Transformation team for the summer, and love the role! I wanted to try something new where I would have the opportunity to do so much!
Anne: You sound like one busy bee and a social butterfly! Tell me more about what you do at school that sets you apart from others?
Sierra: *Sierra laughs* I am on the varsity volleyball team at Queen’s which I absolutely love and I’m also an academic mentor for incoming student-athletes. I try to get involved outside of athletics as well, so I am involved with the Relay for Life committee, project manager for the Economics Affairs Society, and delegate for Queen’s Women in Leadership, which is really fun to be a part of.
Anne: That is awesome, I love how busy you are! It really means that you’re making the most of the opportunities that you’re presented with. Speaking of women, who are some of the coolest people you’ve met during your time here at the Bank?
Sierra: I have been lucky enough to have worked with two incredible women during both of my work terms at Scotiabank! It is great to have this exposure at this stage in my career; to really have honest and open conversations about the work I am doing and to see what steps successful and accomplished women have taken to get where they are today. Working with Amanda Kenley this summer has been an amazing experience and I am so thankful to her for the opportunity.
Caroline Bell-Ritchie is an individual that I worked with closely last summer for my role in International Wealth Management. We worked together on many initiatives, such as the True Patriot Love Multinational Symposium, International Strategy, and client events. Caroline was also the captain of the Princeton Hockey team, which connected us both through our love for sport!
Someone else who has really stood out to me is Maria Theofilaktidis who is an EVP for Compliance at the Bank. It was incredible to meet her and learn about her journey before and during her time at the Bank. She was quite inspiring to speak with as she brings numerous perspectives to the conversation - from all of her different roles - and I was very fortunate to have the chance to chat with her.
Anne: Tell me more about this True Patriot Love Multinational Symposium…did you meet Prince Harry?
Sierra: No! I wish! *both laugh* It was a really awesome experience where we got to work with many different business lines across the Bank to help create an unforgettable event. It was a humbling experience to help organize an event for our country’s strong veterans! I was able to work on this by creating a trusting relationship with my manager in order to create more opportunities. I would encourage any students to do the same to get the most of their experience!
- Check out this article for an overview of the event. -
Anne: What would you say some of the similarities are between your role this summer compared to last?
Sierra: Well, as mentioned, I was able to work with two phenomenal women with both roles, and I’ve been able to do a bit of event organization while having exposure to different business lines across the Bank, which is awesome! I love seeing what goes on in the back office and understanding the strategy going into each project.
Anne: What really stood out to you during your time here at the Bank?
Sierra: Hmm… there isn’t a specific event or task, but I would say it’s the people who have really made my experience great while being here, both times! Yes it is a big Bank, but, you have the ability as a student to connect with anyone at any level and people are very open to meeting with students. I would definitely give other students the advice to go into a coffee chat (having done your research) and take advantage of your time here at the Bank. The people really make Scotiabank a special place!
Anne: So you’re a pretty awesome person, but what is something that people don’t really know about you?
Sierra: Yikes… that’s a hard one! Well, I really want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro… my mom has done it before and it sounded like an amazing experience so it’s something that I would really love to do with her sometime soon!
Anne: No way! That’s awesome! I used to live in Tanzania so know a lot about it!
*Sierra and Anne chat about Tanzania and Kilimanjaro for a while*
Anne: Small world! If you had to sum up your experience at Scotiabank in just three words, what would they be?
Sierra: Definitely opportunity, which I’ve already spoken to! Then I would have to say inspiring. It is so rewarding to have exposure to different business lines at the Bank, and learn from all different kinds of people. Taking advantage of genuinely getting to know different people while working at the Bank, and learn about how they have become leaders. It’s intriguing and inspirational to hear their stories and to get excited about how much is in store for me as a student! The third word would be exciting. It is amazing to be a part of this organization, work with the people as well as to make the most of the opportunities that it provides. There is so much opportunity that lies ahead and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do any of it without Scotiabank and the people that I have met along the way!
Anne: What is a word of advice you’d like to share with an incoming co-op student?
Sierra: I would say that students should be open to any opportunities and be open to raising their hand at any point in time! Don’t section yourself off as an economics student (or whichever degree you might be pursuing!) because it is really rewarding to push yourself to work outside of your comfort zone, especially when there are great people to do it with! Definitely take advantage of the opportunities Scotiabank has while you are here, and make the most of your time! Find a great mentor and they will always have your back and look out for your best interests while guiding you throughout your career path. Get exposed to as many people as you possibly can and network smart (do your research before meeting up with them). Good luck!