First National Financial LP

Experienced Professionals

A successful career is a journey

Carolyn Slater

Underwriter, Residential Underwriting

Where I started:

Before joining First National, I worked from home as a broker. I really wanted to be a part of a team environment but I knew that I had to start in a role that would allow me to learn the industry and get experience. My first role at First National was in fulfillment, where I focused on broker relationships, document collection and reviewing/verifying documents. I was also able to train for my current role as Underwriter.

How I grew:

For me, it is always important to be an active team member who is willing to help others. I am very committed to moving my career forward, so any time I got the chance, I would enthusiastically take the opportunity to underwrite files to learn the role and responsibilities. In addition, I took the initiative to educate myself on internal processes and underwriting responsibilities – asking a lot of questions and maintaining positive relationships with brokers and our internal mortgage specialist.

The support I received:

My Director, Ray Quan, and my internal manager Shirley Wu, were incredibly supportive in helping me grow in my career. They both encouraged me to underwrite files when I had the time. They were also open to reviewing those files and providing positive feedback, so I could learn.

The First National difference:

The Vancouver office is a relaxed, laid back and positive environment. Everyone is very friendly and always willing to jump in and help. Management is supportive of individual growth and encourages ongoing learning. I feel really lucky to have various opportunities to socialize with my colleagues, so we can get to know one another on a personal level as well. First National is a fun place to work, and I hope to be here for many years. 

My advice and perspective:

Asking a lot of questions and taking initiative show that you are interested in learning more and growing your career. It is also important to be helpful to your colleagues and focus on positive relationships with your team, managers and brokers. They are the people that will help you grow and develop. When given the chance, practice your next role, so you’re prepared when you get the opportunity to advance.