New Grads: Where Do You Fit In The Vehicle and Equipment Finance Industry?

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Vehicle and Equipment Finance is a vast and diverse industry – perfect for young professionals who are looking for a place to grow and advance their careers.

However, this field at first glance can seem intimidating. With so many different career paths to choose from, it can be challenging for new grads to assess where they fit in. The good news is, vehicle and equipment finance can incorporate a wide variety of skills and experiences, and anyone who is willing to learn can pursue a rewarding career in this industry!

TalentEgg had the chance to connect with Debra Silas and Ravinder Sanghera. These knowledgeable and experienced professionals provided their insights on this egg-citing field.

An ideal field for recent grads

Many young professionals agree that there is a staggering amount of opportunity in the Asset-Based Financing industry, making it a great choice for individuals looking to get their career start. And contrary to popular belief, a background in business or finance is not the only way to find success.

Debra Silas
Director of Marketing
Questor Financial Corp

Debra knows this first-hand. Shortly after studying towards a Master’s degree in Canadian Political Studies, she began working in equipment leasing sales. She says that the skills she gained from her studies were a huge benefit to her success in this field.

“The Social Sciences are quite diverse, which was perfect training for equipment leasing because asset-based finance is of interest to all businesses – regardless of what the company does,” says Debra.

Over a decade later, Debra’s success speaks for itself. She is currently the Director of Marketing at Questor Financial Corp. – and stories like hers will become more and more common in the near future. Ravinder says that this is an exciting time for new graduates who are looking to climb the career ladder.

“We have a lot of people who have been in this industry for a long time who will be looking to retire,” says Ravinder. “There are a lot of positions waiting to be filled… this means more opportunities for the up-and-comers.”

Interested in starting a career in Vehicle and Equipment Finance? Here are some positions to explore:
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Leasing Broker
  • Sales Representative
  • Risk Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Credit Processing Coordinators

Finding a role that fits you

The Vehicle and Equipment Finance industry has a number of different departments that can accommodate different skill-sets. These areas include marketing, sales, insurance – and of course, finance. However, no matter which department you work in, it’s important for young professionals to understand the full life-cycle of the business in order to be successful.

Ravinder Sanghera
Division Manager, HR
John Deere Financial Canada

“Typically when you enter this niche industry, you will need to develop a basic understanding of credit and collections,” says Ravinder. “Once you understand this, you can move to other areas of the business.”

For recent grads who are new to the business, Ravinder strongly recommends starting off in customer service. This type of role requires the professional to work with the different departments in the organization to help the customer, which is great for getting to know the business and the flow of operations. Many young professionals get their start in this department and eventually move on to different areas of the business.

“There aren’t any obstacles to prevent you from going from one area to another,” says Ravinder. “If you have the skill-set, you can move into other areas of the company.”

Case study: Leasing Broker

Debra Silas says that Leasing Brokers are an integral part of the leasing industry, and new grads can start with inside-sales roles. Here are some quick facts about this entry-level role – is it a good fit for you?

  • Key skills required: communication, relationship building, and organization
  • Valuable qualities: self motivation, strong drive and independence
  • Growth opportunities: successful individuals can choose bank-based corporate opportunities, or they can have unlimited growth with independent leasing brokerages

Once you get a sense of the business, it will be easier to select a role that fits your aspirations and qualities. While having knowledge of Finance is helpful, it’s very important to examine your transferrable skills and evaluate them against the position you’re considering.

“In leasing sales, the most important required skills are communication, relationship building, organization, and a general understanding of business objectives,” says Debra. “It takes time to learn the intricacies of leasing but it is a dynamic career path.”

Of course, there are some areas of the Vehicle and Equipment Finance industry where a working knowledge of Finance or Accounting is required. The good news is, there are many organizations in this field that are willing to invest in their employees and provide them the skills necessary to succeed in these areas.

“We have people who enter into the Credit area of the business – some have experience and some don’t,” says Ravinder. “So most organizations will put your through a Credit training program to make sure you have the skills you need to be successful in that role.”

Advice and insights

The Vehicle and Equipment Finance industry is a fantastic place to get your foot in the door as a young professional and explore a wide variety of career opportunities.

One of the best ways to truly understand this industry is to ask the professionals themselves. Many employees in this field have worked there for years, and can provide unique and valuable insights into what you can expect – this is a great way to find a position that fits you best. Ravinder stresses that it’s incredibly important to find an organization that resonates with you.

“For me, I’m very supportive of our company,” she says. “If you work for an organization which aligns with your personal values, it demonstrates your passion and commitment.”

As an experienced professional in this field, Debra says she still loves her job and the people she works with each day. Her decision to join this industry as a new graduate helped her build a solid foundation to advance her career.

“I have all the benefits of professional independence, and yet still am supported by a fantastic team,” she says. “On a personal level I have grown in finance and leasing and learned something new every day.”

Find success in Vehicle and Equipment Finance with these tips:
  • Research. Look up company websites and articles, and get to know their values and what they stand for.
  • Connect with people. Search professionals on LinkedIn or connect with them at networking events. Ask them questions about their work, and find out if it’s the right fit for you.
  • Keep an open mind. Evaluate and research a number of different roles within the industry – there’s a lot of mobility within this industry, and you may find a new career path you never considered before!

Ready to hatch your career in the Vehicle and Equipment Finance industry? Check out our Career Guide!

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