Manager, Residential Underwriting
Where I started:
I always had an interest in the financial services industry. Right out of university, I started working at a bank as a teller and progressed to a financial services manager role. I left that organization to work at a mortgage company in several roles focused on underwriting and credit. I knew about First National and really wanted to join the team. My role as Manager in underwriting is constantly evolving and provides opportunities to learn every day. I find it very rewarding to manage a group of underwriting experts who are approving mortgages for Canadians looking to fulfill their dreams of home ownership.
How I grew:
I worked very closely with my managers and was open and honest about my career goals and aspirations. They encouraged my curiosity and recommended some of First National’s online courses. I have taken full advantage of the training and lunch and learns. I also do a lot of self learning, reading articles and newspapers and staying on top of policy changes. It’s such a dynamic industry. That keeps me interested and on my toes.
The support I received:
I have found the role-specific online courses to be really valuable in helping me develop my skills. The lack of silos here contributes to our productivity. With the way that teams are set up, we can constantly talk to each other. Underwriters, fulfillment and funders all work together within an open concept, which promotes collaboration and idea sharing. First National also offers a wealth of knowledge within the organization. There are a lot of smart people within these walls. So it’s easy for me to seek advice, do job shadowing or request side-by-side training. There is an openness amongst employees to both teach and learn.
The First National difference:
First National has a very experienced underwriting department with many seasoned professionals who have been here for 30 years. Collaboration is encouraged, as is connecting socially. We all like to work hard, but we can also have fun, be silly together and share personal experiences. It’s an environment that’s conducive to team building. I also think that there is a common mindset at First National. We like to get work done, but we do so in productive, supportive and collaborative ways. Simply put, First National is a great place to work.
My advice and perspective:
I think it’s important to be clear about what you want and what you want to do. Once you identify your goals, have a clear plan to achieve them, including a timeline. Don’t be afraid to share your aspirations with people that can help you realize them. Ask a lot of questions, as often as possible. It’s important to be committed to being your best in role, while maintaining an openness to learning. That drive to succeed coupled with curiosity will help you evolve and adapt to change. First National is proud of its culture of excellence, and I think it’s necessary to have similar standards for yourself and a desire to be a part of a great team.