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I needed a job. That was the one thought that kept coming back to me during my second semester. My justification was that I wanted experience as well as some side cash. However, my main reason was that I was intrigued by the field of finance. I honestly did not know where to start. 

There was one day when I did not have class and I decided to just scout out all the major banks within Ottawa. I dressed in professional attire (suit, dress shoes, and dress pants) and brought a folder containing all my one-page resumés I made in high school. So, I made my way across the city travelling to each bank in my suit.

I specifically remember that I would ask the customer service representative if they had any open internships or jobs, and they would just tell me to check their website. By the third bank, this was extremely frustrating to hear. Occasionally, they would accept my resumé, but I never heard back from them. After going to 9 different banking branches, I became tired and just walked back to my residence in defeat.

The next week, I decided to tackle this annoying situation from a different angle. I went to the Career Centre and had my resumé looked over by a few of the ambassadors there. They absolutely destroyed my resumé, but it was so rewarding because they made it so much better. I then sort of pivoted my previous strategy. Instead of physically travelling to these banks in a suit, I decided to call them. Customer service representatives were not helpful, and still told me to look at the webiste. I then realized that I could expand my web search paremeters to include more than just banks, such as “investment firms” and “wealth management companies.” I became more successful when I did this. A couple of people reached out to me, asking me to email them my resumé and then 2 months later, I started working at Exponent Investment Management as an Associate Developer Intern. 

There are a couple of takeaways from this experience that I hope you will take note of and possibly implement in your life. The first is that you shouldn’t just apply to major corporations/banks, because they receive a myriad of applications so statistically speaking, you have a lower chance of being selected. Instead, try applying to a couple smaller sized firms or startups. Another takeaway is that you must put in the work.

As my friend always says when trying to find the love of his life, “it’s all a numbers game.” Your chances of landing an interview if you applied to 3 jobs are slimmer than if you applied to 50. So, how do you like them apples? ;)

Justin Abraham

Justin Abraham

2nd-Year Student
Management Information Systems and Analytics 
                                                                                                                                                


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