Dream at age 5: To become a Doctor
Dream at age 15: To become a Doctor
High school electives: All Sciences
Volunteer work: Hospitals and Research Labs
Dream at age 18: To become a Doctor
University degree: Biochemistry
Currently: Branch Manager at one of Canada’s leading banks, and loving every moment of it. Random, right?
The idea of becoming a doctor was never imposed on me. Not even by my Bangladeshi parents. Maybe what was missing, whether from school or from family, was encouragement to explore more options to have a full understanding of what my passion is, what my strengths are, and what kind of a career would really give me a sense of fulfillment. University, in my opinion, is four very expensive years which comes too early in life, where teenagers, who have close to no idea what’s out there, are asked to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. I got my bachelors degree from University of Ottawa. While I was in school, I worked for the Aldo company. I learned how to ask open ended questions to be able to match people up with the shoes that they needed. I learned how to ‘FAB our shoes’ (discuss Features And Benefits with customers). I learned that an add-on to a sale is meant to add some sort of value to the customer, and also how important it is to take ownership of our mistakes and make things right at first point of contact. I was fortunate to be able to work with a few great managers who put a lot of focus into training and developing their employees and keeping them fully engaged at work. Not all of my managers were like that though. As someone who sees an opportunity in every situation, I decided that from these managers, I can still learn what not to do and how their actions can impact their team members. By my third year of university, I was still working towards my degree because I had made a commitment and wanted to complete it. I knew, however, that my passion was to identify people’s needs and help them get to their goals. I knew that my strengths were keeping business objectives in mind, connecting with customers and listening for cues to meet those business objectives while working in the customer’s best interest. A sense of fulfillment to me was knowing that I could grow freely, and have an expert to be able to reach out to for guidance. TD Canada Trust checked all those boxes. I picked TD not because it was a bank or because of their business results. I picked TD because my vision and theirs were identical when it came to customer experience and development. Learning banking products vs shoes were the same idea- just solutions to a different set of needs. This is my seventh year with TD and my focuses have evolved. In the next two years, I want to get my HR accreditation and explore opportunities in that area at TD. I have come to terms with the fact that it’s okay not to follow your childhood dream, because 5 year old Shamayel won’t be the one going to work everyday. Working with a company that focuses on the same things that I do makes me look forward to work everyday. The support that I continue to get reassures me that there will be no glass ceiling that I am not able to break through as long as I have the drive to do so. My growth is in my hands and no one else’s. Maybe it wasn’t up to my family or my school to encourage me to learn more about myself- maybe that comes from within.
The writer is a Branch Manager at one of Canada’s Top Banks.