Career Story

Mark Jeffrey Santa Ana

Credit Analyst,
Canadian Commercial Banking

Network with people across the Bank and get to know other parts of the organization you don’t get to interact with in your work – like me, you may find a career you never thought you would love!

Why did you choose BMO for your internship and how did it prepare you for your fulltime role?

I chose BMO for my internships because it was very clear to me that interns at this company were given meaningful job assignments – in other words, it wasn’t just filing papers and grabbing coffee. My HR internships prepared me for my full-time job in Commercial Banking by providing me the soft skills that are transferable in any role – relationship building, time management, leadership skills and communication. Through the networking opportunities available through the internship program and my colleagues, I was able to meet hiring managers and staff in Commercial Banking and learn more about that part of the Bank, which piqued my interest.

I love working at BMO because of the people I get to work with every day. I’ve been in HR and Commercial Banking, and in both places I can say the people here are hard-working, dedicated and very collaborative. As well, our senior leaders are very accessible and I have had the opportunity to meet with many of them and learn from their career experiences as well as share my feedback about processes and systems in the organization. These things allow me to say with pride to my friends and family, I work at BMO!

What were some of the highlights of your internship and what did you learn and carry forward as you embark on your career?

For me, the highlights of my internship were the times that I had the opportunity to lead a project or a group of people. One summer, I managed a project to consolidate four internal websites into one website because four teams were being combined into one. After gathering feedback from team members and developing a plan, I got to present that plan to our VP, who was very impressed and commended me for my work. This was a highlight for me because this was a unique opportunity for an intern like myself.

I learned that there is a high value placed on work ethic. If you put in the time, pay attention to the important details and make the effort to get things right, your peers and leaders notice that and you put yourself in a position to be rewarded for it. Every opportunity I have had has come out of me putting the team first and getting things done right even if it means extra effort on my part.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give to future students to be successful in their internship with BMO?

The most important piece of advice for future BMO student interns I would give is to get to know how the work you are doing affects the bigger picture, such as the goals of your team, department or even the company overall. Also, network with people across the Bank and get to know other parts of the organization you don’t get to interact with in your work – like me, you may find a career you never thought you would you love!

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role today and why did you decide BMO was right for you after your internship?

The most rewarding aspect of my role is knowing that even though I do not directly face customers, what I do in my role affects the Bank’s relationship with customers and potential customers. As a lender, we make decisions everyday about lending relationships and also have to ensure the Bank is protected against any significant risks by ensuring proper mitigation is in place. What brings this rewarding aspect to life though, are the people I work with. The team I am with is a very high performing group that is recognized across the country as among the best commercial lenders in the country – every day I get to learn from these individuals by interacting with them and just by being around them.

I decided BMO was right for me because I resonate with the company’s vision of being “the bank that defines great customer experience.” This objective was something that really stood out to me because as a BMO client myself, I had experienced how BMO bankers strive to put the customer first and develop meaningful, long-lasting relationships based on trust. This was something I wanted to be a part of.

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