“To be a leader means to focus on continuous learning.”
– Georgia Lee, Co-op Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Graduate 2022, University of Toronto Scarborough
Congratulations to Georgia, recipient of a Management Co-op Work Term Excellence Award for her contributions at Scotiabank in Summer 2021!
How did you get hired?
I met a recruiter, Daisy, at one of Scotiabank’s campus info sessions and we connected over our common experience in sales and marketing. After the info session, I reached out to her on LinkedIn and we had a coffee chat. Daisy asked me what Scotiabank positions I had applied to, then a few weeks later Daisy invited me to two interviews. The day after I interviewed for the Operations Business Analyst position, Daisy informed me that I was hired. The excitement was unbelievable!
Who was your manager at Scotiabank? What’s the most important thing you learned from them?
The manager I worked alongside the most was Cathy, who has such a kind and wise leadership style. Cathy shared many words of wisdom with me throughout the co-op term, and one of them holds a permanent spot on my wall of important sticky notes: “Never limit yourself to just the job itself. The more you know, the more valuable you can be.” Cathy’s quote not only inspired me to take on more challenges during the internship, but it also pushes me to broaden my knowledge in my long-term career journey. To be a leader means to focus on continuous learning.
Describe the company culture. How does Scotiabank go above and beyond to support co-op students?
I would use three words to describe Scotiabank’s culture: Energetic, Personal, and Teamwork. Even prior to joining the bank, I remember the recruitment team’s energy at the information sessions to be very uplifting. The culture is also personal, because Scotiabank makes sure to get to know every student intern, starting from the recruitment process. The relationship-based recruitment model allowed us to build one-on-one connections with the recruiter, thus I was able to achieve a sense of belonging early in the process.
What was the most innovative project you worked on?
I gained insightful perspectives of the wealth management industry through every assignment I worked on, but the Security Classification Automation Project was perhaps the most memorable. Daily securities used to be manually classified by my team, but after thoroughly analyzing and understanding the classification process, I realized that most of the daily classifications could be applied with automized rules while the analyst’s time could be spent on classifying the exceptions. So I built an Excel file that served as a database to automate classifications—as a result, the daily classification procedure was shorted to five minutes from 30 minutes! I was proud to make a positive impact by taking the initiative to innovate.
Tell us about your career goals. How will you leverage your co-op experience to achieve them?
The internship at Scotiabank introduced me to the world of wealth and asset management, and my current eye-opening co-op at Mackenzie has led me to confirm my post-graduation goal to become a sales and client relationship manager in the asset management industry. From my co-op work terms, I have gained valuable industry knowledge, technical and soft skills, and a passion to consistently learn. I am ready and equipped for a dynamic career journey ahead.
Any advice for future Management Co-op students?
Never limit yourself and never reject yourself. During my first co-op seeking cycle, I did not apply to several banks and companies because I did not think I would be good enough for the positions. In essence, I was rejecting myself even before the recruiters or hiring managers could see my application. You’ll never know whether or not you could be hired for a position until you try.