When you hear the words strategy, process improvement and innovation do they get you excited? Are you looking for a catalyst to kick-start your career? I sat down with Jena, Senior Manager of the Catalyst Operations Development Program to learn more about the program and some of the high-impact projects students can expect to work on during their time at Scotiabank.

Jordan: Hey Jena! As a seasoned Scotiabanker, can you share a bit about yourself with our readers?

Jena: Sure! My name is Jena Cammisoli and I’ve been with the Bank for just over 9 years. Not many people know, but I have a lot in common with the students I meet… I, too, started my Scotia journey as a student intern (in Operations, specifically)! Following university graduation, I was hired on full-time and eventually moved into Global Human Resources 5 years ago. I’ve spent most of my time on the Campus team because I’m SUPER passionate about attracting, coaching, and developing the best and brightest early talent! Nothing gives me more energy than a group of students or new grad associates who are hungry to learn, perform, and WIN as part of an amazing team, all while building a strong network and the right knowledge, skills, and experiences to become the next Brian Porter!

Jordan: I love it! Tell us about the program, why was it created, and what makes it unique?

Jena: The Catalyst Operations Development Program was created in January 2019 to hire future leaders into the bank’s Global Operations team. Today, the program has expanded to ALL operational functions across the bank (not just Global Operations), including our Global Wholesale Operations team in Global Banking and Markets. Getting to rotate every 8 months is incredible – being able to experience different teams and types of work is so unique, and it helps each associate drill down their desired path for after Catalyst graduation. Building awesome Talent Incubator for Leaders of Tomorrow (TILT) new graduate programs that focus on developing our next generation of Scotiabankers is a priority for the Bank, and HOW we achieve this is so important. All associates who join Catalyst (like all of our TILT programs) receive multiple layers of mentorship (including a dedicated Program Manager) to support each associate on their journey. In my opinion, the cohort aspect is really special too. Not only does an associate have a large class to experience each step with, but they also are connected through TILT to all of our program associates across the Bank!

Jordan: I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, but why would a student want to join Catalyst?

Jena: Why WOULDN’T they!? It is an awesome program. I always say I wish a program like this existed for me when I was graduating school. Students who join the program really fast-track their career in the world of operations at Scotiabank. The rotations focus on the breadth of exposure and experience through customized learning plans, mentorship, courses, certifications, networking sessions, and masterclasses (to name a few). An associate really gets 3-4 years of experience in only 2. It’s truly an accelerated learning experience… and a lot of fun!

Jordan: I say that all the time too! I wish these programs were available when I graduated. When you’re out recruiting for early talent, what traits do you look for and who would do well in this program?

Jena: Students who do well in this program love challenges and fixing things that are broken. They can foresee problems before they arise, recognize efficiencies, are innovative, and have an interest in technology. They’re relationship builders who love working in high-performing collaborative teams. This program isn’t “just a job” …it’s an investment in your future! Students who want to work hard, learn a lot, meet amazing people, and have a ton of fun would really love Catalyst!

Jordan: The question that’s top of mind for a lot of students about to graduate, what kind of career could this program lead to?

Jena: This program is perfect for anyone who is ambitious and has a passion for operations (and wants to build their career at Scotiabank)! The opportunities are endless in such a large, global organization and a program like this really kick-starts your career post-university.

Jordan: And last, (but not least!) if you had one piece of advice for students what would it be?

Jena: Be hungry, have high standards, be curious, work incredibly hard, be a good person, and ABOVE all à #AOO (Attitude, Ownership, Opportunity). Oh, and if you’re not attending recruiting events you should probably start. Come meet my awesome Campus Recruitment team because relationships are way more important than resumes! We want to meet you :)

Interested in joining the Catalyst Operations Development Program?

Click here to learn more about the program. Oh, and if you want to meet Jena and her team, check out the Campus Event page!