Hello, my name is Samuel and I’m currently an Analyst in the Accelerate Commercial Banking New Graduate Development Program! I graduated from the University of Calgary in November of 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and am excited to talk about my career journey thus far.

My path to the Accelerate program is a bit different from others. During my last year of university, I wasn’t completely sure of what I wanted to do after I graduated. In fact, during the fall semester, I was studying abroad in the beautiful city of Seoul, South Korea. After coming back, I attended campus information sessions in various industries such as Consulting, Banking, and Risk Management to get a better feel of what I wanted to do in the future. In my last year of university, I had the pleasure of working at Tangerine Bank where I gained great exposure to an alternative form of personal banking. It was during this time that I realized something about myself - I love talking to clients! In terms of social environments, I’m more of an ambivert, but being in an environment to speak to clients about banking is something that I truly enjoy.

After graduating I wrote the level 1 CFA exam and started to think about where I wanted to start my career. I interviewed at a couple of different companies, with the most memorable being with Scotiabank’s Roynat Capital. During the second round of interviews, I asked one of the Senior Associates about their career path, to which I learned that he started as a Commercial Banking Analyst. I found this incredibly interesting especially because Commercial Banking has so many aspects of what I want in my professional life - I love the analytical side of banking, but I also love the relationship-building aspect. This is what ultimately led me to the Commercial Accelerate Program (CAP).

When it comes to CAP, I can say the experience so far has been phenomenal! In my past rotation, I was part of the Distribution team working with a group in the Fraser Valley. There, I learned a great deal about analyzing financial statements, writing credit, pricing deals, as well as what makes a great Relationship Manager. Currently, I am with the Roynat Capital team working with a group in Kelowna. I’ve only been a part of this team for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve already learned so much about communicating with clients, handling deals, and how to manage the complex situations that can arise within this team. Aside from these two rotations, there are other teams that you can join within Accelerate, such as Technology Innovation Banking, Global Risk Management, and Real Estate Banking. The ability to rotate throughout these different teams has added so much value to my work experience and has helped me narrow down what I’m most interested in.  

One of my biggest highlights of the program so far has just been the amazing people I’ve met along the way. From the great group of people in my cohort to the wonderful people I’ve worked with during my rotations, the support system during my time at Scotiabank has been invaluable. I’ve never once felt completely lost or under immense pressure, because there was always someone I can reach out to. There are definitely challenging aspects of the program, but my support system allows me to tackle these challenges without fear.

My advice to students is to always be curious and ask questions. There are so many opportunities available to you and it’s important to find out what is right for you. Sure, curiosity may have killed the cat, but it could be just what launches you into an incredible career! In addition, asking questions is a way to learn, but it also may leave a lasting impression on someone. If you keep an open mind while staying true to yourself, you might just find yourself in an amazing spot. So be curious, be eager to learn something new, and never be afraid to ask questions!

Interested in learning more about our Commercial Accelerate Program? Click here!