Andrew McManus parlays First National internships into a fulfilling full-time role

First National Financial LP Nov 26, 2022   mins

Andrew took an internship in 2017 during his studies at McMaster University and liked it so much that he applied and was rehired as an intern in 2018 and 2019 before landing a full-time position.

First National is one of many companies that offer paid internships to students hoping to enter the world of financial services. But it is the only company that employs Andrew McManus. For those thinking of applying for or who are already participating in our internship program, Andrew’s story demonstrates what’s possible with First National’s assistance.

Andrew took an internship in 2017 during his studies at McMaster University and liked it so much that he applied and was rehired as an intern in 2018 and 2019 before landing a full-time position in June 2020 as a Junior Analyst in Commercial Mortgages at First National promoted to Analyst in January 2022. Few people know the ins and outs of our internship program better. 

Like many interns, Andrew used his summers to zero in on what type of career made best sense for him. Unlike some interns, he had an expressed interest in private lending and saw our program as an opportunity “to get my foot in the door at First National” so he could develop a career as a commercial analyst. During those formative summers, he was a Property Tax Representative and a Commercial Servicing Specialist. Those experiences solidified his desire to build a career in commercial financing.

Learning and Teamwork: The Keys to Success 

During those active summers, Andrew became indoctrinated into our values-driven approach to personal development. The values he says that are most prized and preached here are continuous learning, “staying in touch, which is another way of saying building relationships” within our teams, and the importance of being effective and efficient as team members. He received personal coaching, access to training resources and diverse learning experiences to drive home these values and make them part of his working life. Learning opportunities continued once Andrew took a full-time position and included participating in job shadowing experiences with senior team members to learn different facts of the commercial property financing market to enhance his knowledge.

Andrew cites various examples of the importance of teamwork at First National, including times of uncertainty. “Through COVID, supply chain shortages and the war in Ukraine, we worked together to maintain pricing agreements and take advantage of First National's unique financing solutions including our Early Rate Lock program.” Through teamwork, First National also introduced new products including Core Conventional and MLI Select. It takes collective action to bring those solutions to market and plenty of work to develop intimate understanding of each new product.

Andrew notes there are many opportunities to build connections by attending conferences, participating in work parties, fireside chats with senior executives, and simply “being in the office.”

Andrew feels he has grown personally and professionally since starting and likes the fact that the company has grown around him as well. “Three new analysts have joined our team in the past two years and our Commercial mortgage book has just surpassed $40 billion, up from $33 billion when I started full-time just two years ago.”

Asked why he opted to stay with First National after graduating from the internship program, Andrew says he likes the positive feedback he received, the personal confidence that comes from increasing levels of responsibility and the fact that he appreciated First National’s culture and “knew that there was an opportunity for growth and development here based on what I saw each summer.”

At First National, internships are learning and earning opportunities and as Andrew’s experience proves, can lead to the start of a flourishing career.

If you would like to speak to Andrew about his experiences, he can be reached at andrew.mcmanus@firstnational.ca. You can learn more about First National’s internship program on our website.


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