Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Commerce and Business students land jobs at CIBC

Dexter Lintag says Douglas has given him the tools to succeed in a career in finance. 
By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

Dexter Lintag is a mechanic by trade. But eventually, he found that working with cars just wasn’t his thing. Trading in his coveralls for button-down shirts, Dexter left the garage to study marketing at Douglas.

“I didn't like my job as a mechanic,” he says, “but I discovered that I was good with people and enjoyed business.”

Dexter’s got one more course to complete before he’s awarded his Marketing Management Diploma, but he’s already landed a job with CIBC – one of four Douglas Marketing students to do so.

Since July of last year, Dexter’s been working as a customer service rep. Besides processing deposits and withdrawals and helping customers choose the right accounts, he’s also been mentoring new hires and volunteering at CIBC-sponsored fund raising events for organizations such as the United Way and BC Children’s Hospital.

What’s more, he recently received an award of excellence from CIBC for his outstanding performance in training new staff, exceeding his sales target, his volunteer efforts and – most impressive – recruiting new clients with substantial amounts of money. The biggest account he’s opened so far is with a deposit of $280,000. Not bad for a guy who’s been there less than a year.

“My manager told me during my review that I perform like I've been there for five years,” he says.

The Douglas advantage

Dexter says the courses he’s taken at Douglas have armed him with the skills and tools he needs to help him succeed in his job. These include understanding how businesses operate, the language of business, how to compete with other financial institutions, the role of banks in the economy, selling and marketing skills and how to protect clients from fraudsters.

Dexter also says his instructors have played a huge role in his success.

“The instructors are well-connected to the industries they are in,” he says. “David [Moulton] connected me to CIBC. He went out of his way to do it and constantly communicated with me to help me out. He’s my angel.”

Sam Qin also works as a customer service rep at CIBC. A third-year student in Douglas’s Bachelor of Business Administration – Financial Services and Administration program, Sam says his instructors have been invaluable in preparing him for the workplace, including teaching him interview and networking skills, how to dress for work, reviewing his resumé and introducing him to the banking industry.

David Moulton believes that as a faculty member it’s his duty to help good students get their careers started.

“I was very happy to see that four of our students who submitted their resumés to CIBC through my contact were hired,” David says. “In my opinion, it’s not enough for instructors to provide their expertise in the classroom. When you have deserving students, you should be giving them a helping hand with their careers."

Now in his third month with CIBC, Sam says he loves “everything” about his job, “even throwing out the garbage.”

When asked where he sees himself in five years, he says he plans to stick around.

“I’d like to stay with CIBC for many years to come,” he says. “I hope to move into sales or work as a financial services rep.”

Mike Stevenson, Senior Vice-President for CIBC's retail banking operations in western Canada, says he has impressed with the quality of the Douglas College students who have applied for positions at the bank.

“The graduates tend to be job-ready and can hit the ground running - which is important in our business.”

Learn more about the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration on the Douglas website.