Hello! My name is Esteban, and I am an Audit Associate working for the Credit Risk team in the Activate Strategic Functions New Graduate Development Program! I recently graduated from McGill University in May 2021 with a Master of Management in Finance degree.
I first decided to join Scotiabank when speaking with fellow alumni who were having a great experience in Scotiabank’s rotational programs. They explained to me how much they learned in just a couple of years by being exposed to different functions within the bank. Additionally, they spoke to me about how Scotiabank’s values and culture helped them feel more integrated at the bank. Most of the alumni that I spoke with were not born in Canada, yet Scotiabank’s commitment to diversity made the bank feel like home.
When I finished school, I knew that I wanted to work within Strategic Functions to learn about the structure and operations of financial entities. Therefore, when I saw the opportunity to join the Activate program, I knew that this would be a great chance to kickstart my career within finance. Since I’ve started the rotation program, I have learned so much about the different functions inside the bank. In my current role on the Credit Risk team, I have been able to work with the Business and Risk Management departments from Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, and Mexico. Additionally, I have learned how risk appetite changes depending on the region and different economic conditions.
A highlight of my time at Scotiabank would be the recent work I did with the Income Property Lending department, where I audited the credit risk of several Real Estate entities during and after the pandemic. This experience allowed me to see the impact that an economic crisis could have on the Real Estate market within Canada, and how different companies managed their businesses during a pandemic. Another highlight thus far is getting to know my team outside of work. I’ve had the chance to participate in many social events alongside my colleagues, such as the Sun Life Ride to Defeat Diabetes fundraising campaign. I was appointed captain for my team by my Audit director and my colleagues and I raised over $1500! Not only was this a rewarding experience, but it also helped me bond with my co-workers and get to them on a more personal level.
Finally, my advice for students would be to stay focused and constantly seek out career opportunities. Good opportunities are always in high demand, and it is essential to apply to these jobs early in the school year. Additionally, always look for ways to learn and sharpen the skills that make you special. Once you have the job, I encourage you to give it your best and never stop asking questions. This is an important tool that will help you become a better employee and differentiate you from the rest!
Interested in learning more about our Activate Strategic Functions Program and how to apply? Click here!