Here’s a question: on a scale of one to ten, where do you land when it comes to wanderlust and working in another city? Or let’s put it this way: does the idea of staying in one location at the same job forever make you want to crawl into the recycling bin by the photocopier?
Relocating to a great city with a great career to match is by no means a far-fetched dream. In fact, here’s how two people who’ve built careers at BMO made that particular dream a reality. And if you want it, you could live that dream, too.
Take Kamilla Novakhova, currently Vice President, Debit Card Product Management at BMO Harris Bank in Chicago.
Fresh out of school, Kamilla started at BMO in Toronto as an analyst. “BMO was great at giving me the training I needed to excel at being an analyst. I loved the work I was doing and gained great technical skills that I leverage to this day. Like most, I wanted to do something different and to grow in my career. Through hard work and a great support network at BMO, I was able to transition across different roles that further developed my skills.”
Kamilla felt totally at home at BMO but wanted to explore opportunities outside of Canada. This led her to a network of colleagues in Chicago. “Everyone I spoke to was so accessible and, even though they didn’t know me personally, they took the time to direct me to potential opportunities. And one of these conversations led me to a role in Chicago.”
“What impressed me the most about this journey,” she explained, “was everyone’s openness and the willingness to help. I had great people around me who believed in me, and when you have that and are willing to put in the work, anything is possible.”
Meet Sridhar Ramchandran, now Vice President, Senior Manager, Marketing, BMO Wealth Management U.S. in Chicago.
Sridhar (or “Sri”, as he likes to be called) made a huge career change when he arrived in Canada in 2003, starting all over after being a successful executive at Sony in Dubai. It made sense for him to join Sony again in Canada, he says. “I went back to square one, working on commission on the front lines at the retail level. I caught the financial bug when I worked on the co-branded credit card business there. I earned an MBA from Ivey Business School and joined BMO in a marketing role.”
With the inkling to move in the back of his mind, Sri was happy to find so much opportunity at BMO. “Rarely does a business offer you such a wide canvas to paint your future on. If a marketer so chooses, he or she can understand what’s happening in the other businesses. The environment allows you to think one level higher. Few businesses allow you to do that. If you have the urge to reinvent yourself every three, four, five years, BMO is the perfect place to do that.”
Finding opportunity at BMO is easy “because it’s everywhere,” says Sri, including on a job board that’s open to all employees. “I was at Everyday Banking having a blast, and I saw this job come up. I had been hoping to be able to make a physical move and it was starting to play out as a reality in my mind. That’s how I found my way to the U.S. On top of the support I got and the work I put in, my role here is a product of that job posting. I took the time to build out my profile on the internal system, which allowed recruiting and hiring managers to look through my core strengths. The job was a big opportunity. So I put my hand up. And here I am having the time of my life.”
So if you see yourself somewhere in Kamilla’s or Sridhar’s stories, with that “somewhere” being in another city, just know that “it’s doable.” It takes hard work, but the dream certainly isn’t far-fetched. With the right people around you, you simply need to find “the perfect place to do it,” wherever that may be.