Career Story

Jermaine Kootenay

Personal Banker
P&C Canada – Personal banking

You have to be willing to learn new things daily because every situation is different. If you turn down or try to push the work onto someone else without trying to complete it yourself, then you are never going to learn.

Q1. Why did you decide BMO was right for you and why do you love working here?

I knew BMO was right for me when I had my first interview for the job and noticed a lot of what I was looking to do in my career and personal life reflected to what BMO was already doing. Such things as volunteering, work life balance, and career growth. I love working here because it is like a big family and you grow with them. It is awesome to see your colleagues and friends grow in their career and their personal life, it is nice because you get to maintain a personal relationship with your colleagues.

Q2. What is your proudest moment working at BMO?

My proudest moment working at BMO has been helping with Indigenous specific learnings or functions, such as mentoring summer intern students or holding financial literacy sessions at the University about personal finances. I like helping out those because it helps show Indigenous representation in the corporate or business world. Which we need so that it can hopefully aspire someone in university to look at banking as a potential career.

Q3. In your experience, what has made you successful at BMO?

What has made me successful at BMO is that I have been a hard worker and learned from my mistakes. You have to be willing to learn new things daily because every situation is different. If you turn down or try to push the work onto someone else without trying to complete it yourself, then you are never going to learn.

Q4. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is being able to help people. I work in a very diversified area of Calgary, one that I grew up in, so helping people get their first bank account, credit card, loan, or mortgage in Canada is always a great feeling because you see how happy they are that they are establishing their relationship with you, the bank, and the country.

Q5. What has helped you in your career development and what lessons have you learned along the way as you explored new opportunities at BMO?

Willing to learn and take on things that are very complex has helped me tremendously. I have learned that it is okay to ask for help and that it is better to ask for help early rather than later. Managers are willing to help you and move the process along a lot more smoothly, but when you are afraid to ask for help because you are stuck on an application it delays the process and ends up frustrating the clients due to the delays.

Q6. What are you currently working on that is helping you build on different skills?

Currently I have been focusing on self-employed or business for self lending. Those have helped strengthen my lending and help me understand a client’s business because you are looking at financial statements and it adds another aspect of lending that at times can be very complex.

Q7. What excites you about the next year ahead?

The career growth for the next year is what excites me, I have spoken with some people and they are willing to help me get to a role that will align with my career goals.

Q8. How would you describe your experience and career at BMO in 1 sentence?

My experience at BMO has been nothing short of wonderful.

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