“I understand newcomers’ needs, I have been in their shoes.”
Name: Avnish Soni
Country of origin: India
Year of arrival in Canada: 2009
How I became a Scotiabanker: Back in 2008, at a seminar sponsored by Scotiabank in New Delhi, the Soni family was excited about moving to Canada. Bank representatives explained financial services to help them get established in their new country, and Avnish, an MBA-trained branch manager at one of India’s largest banks, was excited by the prospect of seeking work at the Canadian bank. “I’m a go-getter and I liked how Scotiabank was proactive in sharing settlement information and pre-arranging banking and credit services,” recalls Avnish, referring to the Scotiabank StartRight® Program for Newcomers, which includes a free day-to-day bank account for one year, a wide range of credit card options3 and a number of other customized services and benefits. “I decided to make Canada’s most international bank the first target in my job search.” Avnish worked odd jobs while he studied for his mutual funds license, joined professional associations, and often visited the Scotiabank branch to keep in touch. His determination paid off when 18 months later he was hired into the Bank training program. Now a Senior Personal Banking Officer at Scotiabank’s suburban White Rock Branch, Avnish is eager to dispense tips on personal finance, government services and career-building.
Avnish’s advice for newcomers: “A newcomer has many fears of the unknown, and my goal is to be their friend who is a banker, showing them how to lower expenses, manage credit, and learn how Canada works. Take a job to put food on the table, but don’t lose focus on what you want to do. Work on your language skills, learn about job market expectations and see how you can add value.”
• Avnish Soni is a Senior Personal Banking Officer at Scotiabank’s White Rock Branch, Surrey, British Columbia. 604-541-3400, ext. 4205.
Posted: Oct 2, 2013