I’ve been working in IT for more than 30 years. I began as a programmer, and then moved on to consulting and sales. In 2001, I was working for a software vendor, and First National was one of my clients. I helped to install the Optimus mortgage servicing system, and provided ongoing consulting and support. Optimus is the backbone of First National’s business. The system processes all of the transactions throughout the mortgage lifecycle including calculating interest, collecting payments, changing terms/conditions, paying taxes, renewals and securitization.
In 2013, I had an opportunity to join First National in my current role. I deal with all aspects of the back office operation including customer support for Optimus and developing training environments for new hires.
How I grew:
When I joined First National, I was already working in the industry for 30 years. Going back to my programming roots, I became the subject matter expert for Optimus responsible for customer support, design, development and enhancements.
The support I received:
When I joined First National, I was at a point in my career where I wasn’t really looking to develop or grow. I’m more of the trainer and mentor than the student. However, I was the first on my team to be situated outside of Toronto. Up until 2017, I worked in the Vancouver office. My manager made sure that I had everything I needed to work remotely. In 2017, I moved to Vancouver Island and began working exclusively from home. Again, First National accommodated my working situation without hesitation. My role requires a lot of collaboration and knowledge sharing, and I have all the tools that I need to do my job and communicate effectively and consistently with my team.
The First National difference:
It’s an amazing atmosphere here. Everyone enjoys what he or she does. Teamwork is a value, and we work toward common goals. When I started in 2001, the mortgage portfolio was 7,000 loans. Now it is close to 300,000. I am very proud to have played a part in that tremendous growth and success. And even with the impressive growth, First National has been able to retain its small company culture, which is a testament to the continuity and vision of the senior management team. For me, First National is a perfect fit as I enter into the later stages of my career. I have the flexibility to work from home, but still feel like I’m making an impact and contributing to my team and the overall success of the company.
My advice and perspective:
Everyone has to find a path. Find something that you enjoy doing but still presents some challenge to you. Value relationships. Build them. Nurture them. Many of my relationships here date back to when I worked as a vendor and First National was my client.