As one of Scotiabank’s most rapidly growing business lines, it’s only natural that we’d be looking for great student talent to join the Commercial Banking team. I sat down with Kathy Smart, Senior Manager, Commercial Accelerate Program, Banking Talent Development and Stephanie Kotani, Director, Sales Effectiveness and Sales Experience to learn more about their career journeys and to spotlight the Commercial Accelerate New Graduate Program.
Jordan: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today! Why don’t you share a bit about yourselves with our readers?
Kathy: Hi! My name is Kathy and I’m the Senior Program Manager for the Commercial Accelerate Program. I’m British and moved to Toronto 4 years ago from London. My career has predominantly consisted of leading talent attraction and development initiatives in the UK and Canada. I’m hugely passionate about coaching and supporting entry-level talent to thrive in the work environment! I love to travel and to run; I have completed the world’s largest obstacle course race twice (20 miles and 200 obstacles!) and last year ran the London Marathon to raise money for a cancer research charity.
Stephanie: Hello there! My name is Stephanie and I’m the Director of Sales Effectiveness and Sales Experience. I am a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) and have spent my entire career with Scotiabank. This organization has allowed me to grow my career in multiple business lines doing what I love to do most – helping people succeed through training and development. In my spare time, I run one of the largest invitational gymnastics meet in Canada and volunteer over 200 hours each year within my community.
Jordan: So, let’s get right to it! Tell me about the Commercial Accelerate Program (CAP), some of its unique features, and why it was developed.
Stephanie: Before the CAP was created, Commercial Relationship Manager Trainees were provided with training through an informal approach which, for the most part was on-the-job. In 2017, we launched our People Strategy which focused on, among other things, Talent Acquisition. Under this pillar, we set out to build a best in class trainee program – CAP. My team was responsible for creating and delivering the CAP in partnership with the Campus Recruitment team and HR. I have to say, I’m very proud of the program we created!
Over the years the program has evolved, and new components have been added to ensure the CAP remains a best in class program. For example, this year we introduced peer mentorship where CAP Alumni are paired up with current trainees; we also introduced virtual sessions to increase trainee engagement and broaden their networks. Since it’s inception, the CAP has and continues to be a key initiative to develop well-rounded and successful Commercial Bankers.
Kathy: The program itself is a leading 9-12-month rotational program designed to develop tomorrow’s Commercial Bankers. Since its inception, we have successfully provided over 100 Analysts and Associates the hands-on experience and training they need to become successful Relationship Managers.
Everything in the program has been carefully constructed to support a student’s success. They’ll complete 3 or 4 rotations and gain exposure to multiple Commercial Banking business lines and partners, including Risk - which is unique to our program. For each rotation they’ll be embedded into a team and undertake business critical ‘real’ work.
We understand the importance of a strong support network, so as well as a dedicated Program Manager you’ll have a business line mentor, a rotation trainer and a peer mentor who has recently graduated the program. During Orientation you’ll also get to know the others in your cohort, network with senior leadership and meet the social committee!
We take your development seriously. In addition to your hands on learning you’ll also complete our Canadian Business Banking Accreditation, participate in a Capstone Project, get involved in numerous workshops and lunch-and-learn session all constructed to build your technical skills.
Jordan: This program sounds like an incredible place for a student to start their career! Why type of student would do well here?
Kathy: We’re looking for the super stars that have both strong financial acumen and a passion for people. As a Relationship Manager in Commercial Banking you’ll hold relationships with business leaders from across Canada. You’ll conduct cash flow analysis to understand the clients’ story and offer advice to help them achieve financial goals. If you’re someone who gets equally excited about examining key financial metrics as well as building solid relationships, then you’re exactly the right person for the Commercial Bank.
Stephanie: I couldn’t agree more. If you’re eager to proactively learn and love to be around people, this is the program for you. Our most successful trainees are curious, they love to build relationships and are motivated to help businesses achieve their vision of success.
Jordan: Talk to me about why a student would want to join this program and what kind of a career this could lead to?
Kathy: If you’re looking for a fast-paced career in a client facing and collaborative environment then this is the program for you. The program accelerates new graduates’ careers by providing the coach-supported opportunities you need to learn, practice, and apply your skills and succeed within the world of Commercial Banking.
Stephanie: There is a tremendous amount of opportunity to grow your career in Scotiabank. Our Commercial Bankers work closely with a number of partners and this program could lead to roles in any of them (i.e. Wealth Management, Global Risk Management, Global Banking & Markets, etc.). Trainees can also grow their careers within the Canadian Business Bank (i.e. Commercial Distribution, National Accounts, Roynat, Real Estate Banking, etc.). The CAP provides trainees with a solid foundation to jumpstart their career.
Jordan: And lastly, take yourselves back to when you were a student. What is one piece of advice you’d give yourself or a student today?
Stephanie: Be curious and don’t be afraid to move outside your comfort zone.
Kathy: Be yourself and let your personality shine through every aspect of your application!