Finance is a great career for individuals who are highly motivated, enjoy problem solving and are eager to learn and contribute in a team based environment. For Rebecca Hoang, CPPIB provides an opportunity to challenge herself and build a valuable set of technical and interpersonal skills.
“I really enjoy working in finance because it is a highly dynamic profession,” says Rebecca. “It provides a great opportunity to solve new, exciting, multidisciplinary problems.”
Rebecca has been working as an Analyst in Relationship Investments within Public Market Investments at CPPIB for over a year. We had the opportunity to connect with Rebecca and discuss why CPPIB is a great place for women to hatch their finance career.
Rebecca’s finance career
She graduated from the University of Waterloo’s Accounting and Financial Management program in 2012, and set out to begin her career.
She spent some time pursuing her professional accounting designation before moving into her role at CPPIB. On a day-to-day basis, she works with a focus on public company investments, where she’ll do everything from building financial forecasts, performing financial and qualitative analysis on companies, to performing due diligence on potential investments.
“The role of the analyst within an investment team is constantly evolving and dependent on the transaction, providing ample opportunity to learn and observe.” says Rebecca.
- It’s an opportunity to challenge myself in a new environment and build on my existing skills. Every transaction and investment is different, which allows me to develop problem solving and adaptability skills, and consistently take on new challenges.
- It’s an opportunity to work with talented peers and experienced and approachable leaders, whom I respect.
- It’s a career with purpose, working for a professional investment organization with a singular focus – helping provide the foundation on which Canadians build financial security in retirement. It makes a big difference for the 18 million CPP contributors and beneficiaries.
Rebecca says aside from the professional experience she’s gained at CPPIB in the past year and a half, she’s glad she found an inclusive environment where she can grow and advance her career.
“They do a good job in terms of encouraging more women in finance and investing,” says Rebecca.
Women in Finance at CPPIB
CPPIB has a Women’s Advisory Council to help attract, develop and retain women in support of a diverse workplace. It’s a commitment from the organization to provide opportunities for high performing women with a career in finance, including undergrads and new grads.
Working with CPPIB is a great way to experience its inclusive culture. One of the ways it attracts talented women is through the annual CPPIB Women’s Leadership Exchange – a one and a half day conference in downtown Toronto, open to women in a related undergraduate program who are passionate about developing their careers in finance and investing.
At this event, attendees have the chance to connect with senior leaders at CPPIB, including its CEO, and to network and exchange ideas. It’s a great resource to discover more information about pursuing a career in finance with this global investment firm.
Rebecca had the opportunity to attend the event shortly after joining. “It was great to meet all these intelligent women,” she says. “CPPIB is definitely making an effort to engage talented females and get them involved in discovering a career in finance.”
When it comes to evaluating a career decision, Rebecca says she hopes all students and new grads ask as many questions as possible.
“People are very willing to help you,” she says. “They’re open and approachable. I was considering a career in corporate restructuring, for example, and my mentors encouraged me to speak to individuals in the industry, in order to make the most informed decision possible.”
- Do your research. Meet and connect with individuals working in the specific areas you may be interested in, and understand what they do and what your potential role would be. This helps weed out opportunities that may not be consistent with your career goals, or personal interests.
- If it’s something you are interested in, pursue it. It may seem challenging, and it probably will be – but it’s better to try, and then decide it is not for you, than to opt out and wonder if you could have done it.
- Be ready to make mistakes. They will happen, but the sooner you learn to accept that, the easier it is to take risks and to learn. The most important part is how you handle yourself after you’ve made a mistake.
Rebecca says that she’s glad that she followed her passion when it came to pursuing her finance career. She encourages women who are hesitant about exploring the same path to do the same.