I have been at First National for five years. I spent the first year and a half working in the residential customer service department. After approximately a year, I was able to take advantage of job shadowing opportunities to learn more about the commercial side of the business. My first role in commercial was on the administration team. After another year and a half, I moved into my current role in commercial underwriting. The fast pace and the diversity really motivate and interest me. There are always different deals to review, and every asset class requires a unique approach. I enjoy the challenge of having to switch gears frequently and I am very lucky to work with and learn from Dru McAuley and Jesse Selles.
How I grew:
My managers were incredibly supportive. They really delved deep with me to discover my interests. While I was developing in my existing role, my managers helped me create opportunities to job shadow with other departments, so I could gain firsthand experience with roles that were a fit for my aspirations. It’s really important to communicate with your managers, so they know how to create learning and development opportunities for you in other departments.
The support I received:
The job shadowing proved to be really valuable in easing my transition between roles. I was able to get a sense of the role and whether it was a fit for me. I also committed myself to stay very open to learning and pursuing personal development. Building your knowledge base is vital to helping you adapt in an evolving industry. I took full advantage of the courses in the Learning Network. Completing the modules and exploring new topics helped me develop new interests and further shape my career path.
The First National difference:
First National has been very successful in a competitive industry, and I am proud to be a part of this remarkable growth story. It’s a great feeling when your success is part of such an impressive overall success. The culture at First National really stands out. People are friendly and willing to help. The environment is infused with a strong collaborative spirit. Silos just don’t exist in this organization. For me, it’s very rewarding to be a part of a team that’s working together so cohesively to achieve success.
My advice and perspective:
Focus on your current role and responsibilities and excelling at day-to-day tasks, but have short and long-term goals, as well as a plan to achieve them. Leverage the support available to you, but also take ownership over your future and career direction. Regardless of what you are doing now or where you want to land, apply yourself 100 per cent of the time.