Thu | Feb 27, 2020

Scotiabank executives give career tips to scholars

Published:Friday | January 24, 2020 | 12:27 AM

Scholarship recipients at The University of the West Indies, (UWI), Mona, recently met face-to-face with executive management representatives from Scotiabank in a mentorship session.

Twenty students from various disciplines shared stories and collected career advice from the finance professionals.

The occasion was the renewal of Scotiabank’s five-year commitment to the UWI Toronto Gala, an annual fundraising event to provide scholarships which, for the last 10 years, the bank has been the lead sponsor.

Some 500 students have benefited from the event over the past decade. Scotiabank announced on Tuesday that it has increased annual funding for the gala to CDN$75,000 which, in total, converts to J$37 million over five years.

Among the Scotiabank senior team who gave tips on how to build successful careers were Brendan King, senior vice-president of international banking, as well as members of the Jamaican executive team who are all UWI alumni. The team in attendance were Audrey Tugwell Henry, executive vice-president of retail banking; Dr Adrian Stokes, senior vice-president of wealth and insurance; Perrin Gayle, senior vice-president of corporate and commercial banking, and Yanique Forbes-Patrick, vice-president of public affairs and communications.

Head of Retail Banking Audrey Tugwell Henry told scholars that she was a former English teacher who moved from Montego Bay in order to attend the UWI because she wanted a new career in management and finance.

good relationships important

She said that based on her 30-year career in banking, the best advice she would give would be to “build good, strong, healthy working relationships”.

Dr Stokes, who studied economics and finance at the UWI, told the scholars that the school was globally competitive, a fact which he realised when he went on to further education at the Manchester Business School.

“The UWI is among the best in the Caribbean,” he stated, adding, “a lot of future leaders are sitting here today”.

He told students that a significant part of their success is going to be dependent on people they know and so they should build lasting relationships. He added, “Believe in you. Have confidence in your ability.”

Forbes-Patrick advised students to “pursue your passion,” recounting how she switched her focus from accounting to marketing for that reason.“

“The world is changing. Follow your passion. Be you. Be your best,” she advised.

Gayle, who studied economics and statistics at the UWI and who pursued his master’s at Arizona State University, told students that he got into graduate school based on a business model which he had developed for a sound system, owing to his love of music.

“Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable. Try new things,” he advised the scholarship recipients. He also told them that mentorship was important and encouraged them to develop such relationships in building their careers.

King told the scholars, “Always try something new. Some of the best experiences happen when you push yourself out of your comfort zone.”

In pointing out that Scotiabank has in Jamaica for 131 years, King said that the bank had assisted tens of thousands of families though its community initiatives.

“We have a long relationship with the Toronto Gala. In 10 years, CDN$1.5 million has been raised and 500 students assisted.

He said, “Many of our future leaders are among you. Scotia will continue in its role as lead sponsor, increasing the amount to CDN$75,000 annually, including 15 new Scotiabank scholarships.”