Are you an ambitious self-starter looking to kickstart your career in Strategic Functions? Are you curious, willing to learn, and ready to unleash your potential? We chatted with Kate, Senior Program Manager of our TILT Activate Strategic Functions New Graduate Program to learn all about one of the most diverse TILT Programs at Scotiabank!

Meaghan: Hey Kate! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your career journey?

Kate: My name is Kate and I'm a Senior Campus Program manager at Scotiabank. I joined the bank in March 2021 and have been thrilled to support the Activate program as we welcomed our first cohort in June 2021! I have a strong background in Campus - I worked at both Western University and Wilfrid Laurier University prior to moving to the campus recruitment team at PwC in 2016. I'm passionate about helping associates learn and develop early in their career and have thoroughly enjoyed focusing on associate development for both Activate, and my other new grad program in Technology, Ignition. Outside of work, you'll often find me working on my Olympic Weightlifting technique, swimming, or walking on the Bruce Trail with my French bulldog, Ruby. 

Meaghan: Can you tell us all about Activate and why the program was developed?

Kate: Activate was developed in 2020 to hire future leaders into the bank's Strategic Functions groups - HR, Marketing, Global Risk Management, Global Finance, Audit, and our CPA pre-approved program. I often tell students that Activate is like five mini-programs as each business line stream of the program has structured rotations that provide associates with the opportunity to see different sides of the business within a short time, varying from 18-months to 2 years. These rotations and the development opportunities provided by the program set our associates up to become future leaders in the bank! While the associates rotate in their separate business lines, all associates who join Activate (like all our TILT programs) receive multiple layers of mentorship (including a dedicated Program Manager) to support each associate on their journey. This cohort aspect is great because it provides associates with a large class to experience each step with, in addition to being connected through all our program associates across the Bank!

Meaghan: This program sounds like an awesome opportunity for any student looking to experience one of the avenues of Scotiabank’s Strategic Functions! Why else might a student want to join Activate?

Kate: Why wouldn't they want to join?! Activate is a great, diverse program that allows associates to pursue their own path within Strategic Functions while participating in the program development framework of TILT. I would have LOVED to participate in a program like this when I first graduated! The breadth of exposure associates receive in their first 2 years with the bank is amazing and really provides them with the opportunity to see 3-4 years’ worth of experience in a condensed time frame. Associates can build both their skills and their network, as well as mentorship, courses and certifications, masterclasses, and more. Not to mention, we have a lot of fun along the way! 

Meaghan: What type of student would do well in this program?

Kate: Because of the variety of streams within Activate, there are a variety of students who might apply to the program! Students come from many different backgrounds and during the application process are asked to choose which stream they want to apply to. While the streams are different, the core competencies that set associates up for success are those who want to work hard, learn a lot, meet amazing people, and have fun! They should have strong communication skills and be self-starters who are invested in supporting their team to succeed. Above all, a positive attitude and willingness to learn will be keys to success for any Activate associate. 

Meaghan: What might a career path look like for someone who joins Activate?

Kate: Depending on the stream a student applies to, being in the Activate Program could lead to SO many different career paths! If you are in the HR stream, you could find yourself in Learning and Development or Talent Recruitment - maybe even the campus team! In the Marketing stream, associates could land in Product Marketing or even one of our amazing sponsorship teams. Those in Global Finance will often find themselves supporting one of our many business lines with their financial plans or working in Global Procurement or Strategic Transactions and Review. Global Risk Management (GRM) associates can work in Trade Floor Risk Management, Credit Risk, Retail Risk, Enterprise Risk, AML or Compliance - GRM is huge! For Audit and CPA, associates may stay within Internal Audit, Accounting Policies or Tax, or they may decide to pursue an opportunity elsewhere in the bank. The opportunities are truly endless within our Strategic Functions which makes this program so special!

Meaghan: That is amazing – what an incredible program! Last question for you - if you had one piece of advice for students what would it be?

Kate: My one piece of advice would be to focus on learning EVERYTHING you can, and bring a great Attitude, a focus on Ownership of your work, and an open mind to take on every Opportunity along the way, and you'll be set up for success! #AOO. If you're interested in joining Activate or any other TILT program, be sure to meet our recruiters during our campus events to learn more! We can't wait to meet you. 

Interested in learning more about Activate and how to apply? Click here!