Do you know what you want to do when you graduate? Arlene O’Keefe, alumna from Memorial University of Newfoundland, had no idea. She certainly never considered becoming a banker, but different opportunities after graduation led her to become a Commercial Banker at Scotiabank. We connected with Arlene to hear her story of how she got to where she is today, and to find out how her Enactus experience helped prepare her for this role.

Enactus Canada: Can you tell us more about your position, and what your days typically look like at Scotiabank?

Arlene: As a Commercial Banker, I assist mid and large-sized businesses with advice and customized lending, deposit, cash management, and trade finance solutions. I am responsible for the maintenance and growth of my existing portfolio of commercial clients, as well as proactively acquiring new clients through extensive networking. Providing our clients with a holistic approach is always at the forefront, so deepening relationships and leveraging partners across Scotiabank’s business lines is especially important.

My days are typically spent visiting new and prospective clients, attending networking events, writing credit applications, and collaborating with my team.

Enactus Canada: What makes working at Scotiabank different than working at another organization?

Arlene: The employee culture at Scotiabank is something I’ve not experienced anywhere else. I’ve been lucky to work with, and learn from some very talented people. I feel supported by my superiors and I am consistently encouraged to grow in my personal and professional development. I have been fortunate to have mentors within the bank who have graciously offered their time and valuable advice. Lastly, the opportunity for professional growth at Scotiabank is limitless! Due to its size and multiple business lines, you have an endless opportunity to learn, grow, and change within the organization.

Enactus Canada: What do you enjoy most about the position?

Arlene: I really enjoy working with the clients. Developing relationships and helping them grow their businesses is immensely rewarding. I also work with an incredibly experienced team, so there is a genuine spirit of co-operation and shared goals all revolving around helping the client.

Enactus Canada: How did your participation in Enactus help prepare you for the requirements of this role?

Arlene: I was the Vice President, Social Responsibility on my Enactus team, so I learned many transferable skills. Time management and organizational skills are crucial as I was managing multiple projects, and it helped prioritize my workload. Now I work with a large and diverse team, so doing my part to ensure that we work well together contributes to the overall success of the team. Lastly, having a sense of urgency is vital in any role, especially in a client-facing role.