Hi everyone! My name is Emma and I’m an Associate in the Global Operations stream of the Catalyst Operations Development Program. This program is focused on developing Scotiabank’s future leaders through work experience, targeted development, and training, all while having a community of like-minded peers to support you along the way! I’ll go into more details about Catalyst, but first let me tell you a bit about myself and how I joined this program.

My career at Scotiabank officially started during my last semester of my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I joined the Fraud Deterrence team where my role was to investigate fraud on customer accounts. In addition, I was involved in exciting special projects that gave me a further understanding of what the world of Fraud has to offer. I took this time to soak in as much as knowledge I could, such as learning the fast-paced nature of the Fraud industry, as well as understanding all the different layers of protection built for the bank and our customers.

One thing that I’ve done since the beginning of my career is raise my hand. I ask questions, volunteer or ask for more work, and offer insights or ideas for improvement. A Senior Manager recognized this quality in me and brought forward the idea of applying to the Catalyst Program. She introduced me to the creator and former Program Manager of Catalyst, and upon learning more about the program, I wanted to apply right then and there! I was so excited when I heard that I was accepted as a Catalyst Associate and couldn’t wait to start in May 2020.

Soon after my one-year anniversary with the bank, my world flipped upside down as COVID-19 began. I soon learned that I would be starting my journey in the Catalyst Program virtually, and would be onboarded to my team at home, sitting at my kitchen counter, as opposed to in-person with my colleagues. Although this wasn’t the way I envisioned starting a new job, I love a good challenge and was excited to jump in.

Despite the virtual setting, everyone at Scotiabank was so welcoming! During our jam-packed week of Virtual Orientation, we met with other associates, attended multiple workshops, were introduced to some of our direct leaders, and took part in panel discussions with the bank’s Executive Leadership team. Our cohort quickly became not only colleagues, but close friends, too! In adapting to the new normal of the virtual workspace, I found the best approach is having an open mind and being willing to learn how to navigate new challenges head on.

My first rotation was with the Retail and Business Service Centre. There, I was in a traditional Project Manager role, working on initiatives for process enhancements, efficiencies, and mitigating risk across the Retail Service Centre. Currently, I’m in my second rotation with the Global Contact Centre where my team works in an agile environment to build a new platform for our Contact Centre Advisors. My role on this team is Product Owner of CCP Accessibility in which I lead a small team in Bogotá, Colombia working on making our Canadian platform accessible.

A highlight for me has been learning so much about accessibility and the impact our products and work environments have on our customers and employees! Accessibility is extremely important, especially as we talk about inclusion and belonging in the workplace - something Scotiabank prides itself on. It’s been rewarding to be part of the movement working towards a “barrier-free Canada” and I plan on applying what I’ve learned to my future roles. As my third and final rotation approaches, I’m excited to keep challenging myself and develop my skillset to become one of Scotiabank’s future leaders.

The best piece of advice I would give to students is to get involved! Something I told our new associates during their orientation is the more you put into this program (and your career), the more you get out of it. Raise your hand, ask questions, say yes to opportunities! When you work for a company like Scotiabank, the opportunities are endless. I’ve been fortunate enough to take on many other leadership opportunities here at the bank including volunteering as an advisor for the Junior Achievers program, a Mentor for our summer interns, and a Mentor/Buddy for a couple of our new Catalyst Associates. I’ve also taken on the role of Co-Chair of our Catalyst Social Committee where we have hosted some epic socials, if I do say so myself! These leadership roles have allowed me to make deeper connections with my peers and make an impact on the Catalyst Program. I feel so grateful to be part of such a fun and welcoming community!

All these leadership experiences have allowed me to grow exponentially both personally and professionally. As I prepare for my final rotation in the Catalyst Program and think back to where I was on Day 1, I’m beyond grateful for the opportunities I’ve been able to experience. I’m proud of how much I’ve grown, and I can’t wait to discover where my career takes me next at Scotiabank!

Learn more about our Catalyst New Graduate Development Program here!