Banks are where our everyday transactions pass through. Whether you're applying for a mortgage, paying off a bill, or transferring the $50 you owe to your friend, banks are a part of it all. But sometimes, what we don't see is that behind the bank tellers and loan specialists are very crucial roles within banking operations, often unnoticed.
For Zoya Shrivastava, it was a mix of her expertise in technology and a curiosity for business that landed her a tech role at RBC Capital Markets. Currently working as a technical systems analyst in RBC's New Grad Rotational Program, Shrivastava focuses her work days on quality assurance.
"I work on projects that help existing systems to make changes, and implement new features," she says, explaining her day-to-day responsibilities. "I'm the person that makes sure that any changes made fit the requirements. I do testing, I make test plans, and I talk to the users."
Graduating with a university degree in engineering and a minor in business, Shrivastava explains that she stumbled upon the financial technology term through a quick Google search on roles in business and technology.
"Right now I work in the technology role, but every day I work on financial systems, so I have to learn the finance part of it to understand the technology part of it," she says. "I wasn't just doing something that I know, and something I'm comfortable with."
The fact that Shrivastava didn't have much background in the finance industry posed as an obvious challenge when she first started her role at RBC Capital Markets. She says that in order to break into the banking field with a forte in technology, it's important to have an interest in both areas.
"The more you know the better. Even though you're not working from a financial perspective, it'll just help you understand."
Diversity is a role familiar to many large corporations and slowly being implemented to others. At Scotiabank, this is one of the key areas of focus when it comes to recruitment. Kaye Leslie, manager of workforce diversity, is responsible for the hiring of candidates with disabilities, in addition to educating on diversity both internally and on campuses.
"In order to promote people with disabilities, we go out to colleges and universities on a regular basis, and we promote Scotiabank as an employer of choice."
One of the ways Leslie and her team aims to promote diverse employment at Scotiabank is through networking sessions, implemented over the last seven years. "We invite 10 or 12 candidates with disabilities and we match them with hiring managers. Our goal is to hire a number of individuals from each session."
Seeing that banks were becoming more progressive, Leslie was inspired to pursue the industry after getting her start working in the government and public sector. "They seemed to be a leading edge when it comes to working with diversity," she says. "Because our customers are very diverse, it makes total sense to have people serving them who are reflective of the community we serve."
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