The RBC Career Launch Program Associates Reflect On A Year Of Success

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Every new graduate will have at least one moment in their career when they feel like they are completely out of their comfort zone. While the new challenge can be scary, it can also be exhilarating to watch others working around you, hoping that someday you’ll be just as accomplished and knowledgeable as they are.

Almost every RBC Career Launch Associate remembers those early moments in the program. The Career Launch Program is designed to immerse new graduates in a professional working environment and build their skills so they can succeed on their chosen career path. But between learning on the job, completing professional development courses, and regular manager and mentor meetings, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities.

As Career Launch Alumni, Josh Whittingham and Kelly Hall are now able to look back on their experiences with the program from a whole new angle. Armed with valuable skills and experiences, they are eager to take on whatever lies ahead in their careers.

Josh Whittingham

“Going through the program with a diverse group of almost 100 other young professionals across Canada was very unique… even after the program, as our careers have gone off in different directions, we still share a common connection through our time in the CLP.”
Joshua Whittingham
RBC Career Launch Alumnus

Josh completed his undergraduate degree in Political Science at the University of Toronto in 2012, as well as a Master’s Certificate in International Relations at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies the following year. After completing his graduate school studies abroad, he was looking to return to Canada to start his career.

“I decided to apply to the RBC Career Launch Program because it’s a perfect match for someone who isn’t sure where to start their career,” says Josh. “Plus, RBC has a great reputation for investing in its employees.”

During his time in the program, Josh had the chance to work in several different roles, each with different tasks and responsibilities. He did everything from providing banking solutions as a Client Advisor, to developing marketing plans for a charity, to offering communications advice in a Regulatory and Government Affairs role. Josh says there was never a “typical day during the program.”

“Each group I worked with was very different, but everyone shared a commitment to high performance, having a good time and supporting my professional development,” says Josh. “Through this, I was able to build a better sense of how I could contribute. I never had a day during the program where I wasn’t excited about getting up and going to work.”

“The most important thing I’ve learned is to fully utilize your resources. There are countless tricks I’ve learned from others that have saved me so much time during different projects. From a phone number to the “help line” or a handy Excel macro; it all adds up.”
Joshua Whittingham
RBC Career Launch Alumnus

Since completing the Career Launch Program in January 2015, Josh has been working full-time at RBC in a Regulatory and Government Affairs role. The knowledge he gained through his program made him a great candidate for this position. It also provided him with a fantastic network and helped him hone his career skills.

“The CLP provided great exposure. I now understand what it is like to work for a multinational institution in the 21st century,” says Josh. “It has not changed the way I approach my career, but it has given me more tools to actively manage it. Plus, the connections I have made at RBC will benefit to me for the rest of my career.”

Kelly Hall

“The best connections I made were with my fellow CLP associates. Some of my most memorable moments were spent with them during my program, and we still keep in touch!”
Kelly Hall
RBC Career Launch Alumnus

Like many other students, Kelly had some trouble zeroing in on what she wanted to do after graduation. After completing her English and History degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, she applied to Conestoga College where she earned her Public Relations diploma.

During her challenging job search, Kelly came across the RBC Career Launch Program. While it piqued her interest at the time, she wasn’t 100% confident in her ability to secure a role with such a well-known company.

RBC Career Launch Program: Kelly’s tips for success:
  • Have a goal. While this program provides new grads with the right tools and environment for success, it can’t define your career path. Decide what you want to get out of this experience right from the start!
  • Don’t lose sight of your identity. During this program, you’ll run into lots of different grads from a variety of backgrounds. Remember – what’s best for others might not be the best option for you.
  • Take BIG leaps. The great thing about the Career Launch Program is that there’s a big safety net and a fantastic structure to support your endeavors. Don’t be afraid to take risks and put yourself out there. You’ll be glad you did!

“I applied on an ‘I’m never going to get this’ whim,” says Kelly. “I saw the potential in this opportunity, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be able to secure a position – thankfully, I was wrong!”

Like Josh, Kelly had the chance to try out a number of different roles during the year-long program. She worked with the Corporate Communications team at RBC, as well as a global organization for social entrepreneurs called Ashoka Canada. Both roles gave her important responsibilities, such as developing communication pieces on RBC’s intranet and drafting reports for her client. On top of all this, Kelly says her confidence, public speaking, and self-reflection skills have improved immensely.

“I was doing things that I actually wanted to be doing and saw the real-world applications of the various projects I undertook,” she says. “I also liked that I was able to work alongside seasoned professionals who provided feedback and offered support.”

“My career aspirations are to land a job that challenges me while providing mentorship opportunities and room for growth.”
Kelly Hall
RBC Career Launch Alumnus

Since graduating from the Career Launch Program, Kelly has continued her work with Ashoka Canada, leading their communications efforts and helping them develop marketing materials and strategic plans. She is also heading the communications department for a tech startup.

“I am better able to market the skills I do have, and I’ve been able to land two vastly different opportunities that allow me to put my education and skills to use,” says Kelly. “Now, I am more confident about my experience, and more aware of what I can bring to the table.”

Ready to start your career with the RBC Career Launch Program? Learn more about this amazing opportunity here!

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