If you’re looking to launch your career in an industry that is currently egg-celling, then check out banking!
Whether you’re joining the field from a co-op position, part-time job, corporate residency or with no experience, you’re in for a fulfilling job that will educate you in everything from the Canadian economy to the specific practices of different banking institutions.
We spoke with Michael Parcon, a Dalhousie Corporate Residency MBA (CRMBA) graduate of 2013, who currently works with RBC. Here’s some advice he has for young job seekers.
1. Start developing a keen sense of today’s economy, and especially the conditions of the banking sector. Michael said that it is really important to have a solid foundation in accounting and corporate finance in any banking job because banking work deals with many different financing decisions. Having an academic foundation to rely on in this sense can be the difference between being good or bad at your job, Michael said.
Don’t have a solid academic foundation that you can use for banking yet? Click here to get started!
2. Start developing a sense of what risk is. Whether it’s risk for your client, bank, or personal portfolio, risk is something evaluated in a bank on a constant basis.
“Start cultivating what is acceptive risk, risk tolerance, risk appetite. You learn this in school but you need to be able to figure out what you’re comfortable with to come to the best decision when it comes to risk,” Michael said. “There’s also relationship risk and reputational risk, not just dollars and cents that we have to be aware of when you’re in a client facing position.”
The bank that you may end up working for wants to be able to show that whatever risk you’re willing to tolerate you have to be able to demonstrate mitigating circumstances that will cover that risk, Michael added. He said that this is a skill he is still developing on a daily basis.
3. Michael said that his most important piece of advice would be to start looking at the organization of a bank from a top level perspective.
“Start looking at jobs that you can see yourself in in 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years,” Michael said. “Then find out who has that job and start researching them. People are very open and receptive to an informational interview.”
If you want to conduct an informational interview, decide who you want to talk to and then invite them for coffee. Ask them questions about how they got to where they are today and what they did to achieve that. You never know, maybe you’ll find a new mentor!
From there, Michael says that you can design or map out a possible career path that will show you how you can achieve your personal objectives.
“You have to get used to the idea that [a bank] is a giant moving machine and there are countless opportunities for upward mobility,” he said. “I met a few people and figured out what their backgrounds were, what their previous positions were or what organizations they worked for to get where they are.”
“I reconciled that with some of my own career aspirations. I incorporated what I saw so I could progress to where I wanted to be in my career down the road,” Michael said.
Evidently, Michael is well on his way to a successful career!
Do you already work in the banking sector? What do you love most about it?
Photo credit: epSos .de