Scotiabank Top Student Challenge
Patience, Persistence and Persuasion
“The difference between hyper-successful and successful is the patience you have got towards yourself, your team and the ideal self you are driven to become.”
“Persistence represents a trust towards the company, a belief into yourself, an attitude that you showcase every single day. It is recognized, maybe in an implicit way but it is what it takes to develop relationships and competency”
“The sexist skills in the world is probably persuasion skills, if you do not apply these skills in work you are probably working on repetitive jobs. When we are born, we persuade our parents to treat us, we persuade recruiters to hire us, we persuade clients to choose us to work with them, we persuade people to buy our products.”
Few days ago, I have attended Top Student Challenge sponsored by Scotiabank whereas I have taken three days at Toronto completing challenges with other universities students and mentors from Scotiabank. It was hardly anything that I have expected as it has become one of the best days I have spent in Toronto or even in school.
When I was a freshman, knowing nothing about job opportunities and recruiting. I usually was the ones who is standing in the middle of a networking circle and firing off questions that I don’t even care what he answered instead I wanted to make an impression. I tend to send a Linkedin request or a cold email afterwards and finger-crossing that they will get back to me. I have made a lot of ‘connections’ yet I do not have an actual person to talk to if I would like to ask about struggles I encounter or even a referral from them during the interview process.
Day 1 — Recruiters are human
It may sound a little dumb but it is true. Recruiters/working professionals are human as well, just like every other person who have their own desires and imperfections. In the first night of the challenge, my friend and I have teamed up with two other students from University of Toronto, along with my mentor, Jen we have done a city scavenger hunt exploring the Toronto’s underground pedestrian walkway. We have had super casual conversions about interests, priorities on lifestyles, what they love and hate about the job etc, it reminded me that recruiters have really chosen their job for a reason because they enjoying interacting people and are able to bridge them to a lifestyle they wanted.
Some of them are fresh graduate, who just began working and most still have questions about their future — just like us. Some of them have come from a different sector, because they couldn’t find the culture fit in their old company. Some of them have worked for a long time, enjoying every aspects of the work and might have a lot of priorities. The common trait is that everyone owns a story that they have been wanting to tell, learning the best of yourself would automatically make your storytelling authentic.
Day 2 —Company’s Culture and Investment
Would it be inaccurate if I describe those challenges are like camp programs? Wait first of all, why’d I assume those challenges are going to be like stock pitches, case competitions and hackathons. It is contradicting and sad to say that because we have been exposed to so many of these within the school year. They have been slowly killing our capability to communicate genuinely because we are always held in such a breathless competitive environment.
In the second challenge, My team (The 6ix) has built a washable surgical mask out of a box of rubber band, popsicle sticks, duck tape, cloths and a plastic cup. We had to film a 2-min commercial and sell them to strangers on the street. It was crazy that how other teams come up with ideas like biodegraded coffee mug, dream memo drawer, filter-no-filter camera add-ons etc then we ended up having 77 people answered ‘yes’ to our products.
Moving forward, it is my favourite part of the challenge which was slideshow karaoke. We have gotten 10 minutes to prepare a presentation that is 60 slides long as a group of four, instead of replicating the contents we have decided to identify our role and make creative about the given contents. We gave a presentation about a high school orientation, we have each act as principal and counsellors to talk about credits, attendance, resources and opportunities. It has furnished a lot of laughters and spicy discussions among the topics instead of the slides. Throughout all these challenges, they have assessed our ability to navigate, critical thinking, persuasion skills, creativity and responsiveness in a friendly settings.
In addition to that, events like info sessions and hackathons have constantly act as a scouting event that is super cost-efficient and yet events like Top Student Challenge are something I truly believe students would appreciate a lot. It gives full disclosure towards a company’s culture and showcases how much they have invested into students.
Day 3 — Attitude, Opportunity and Ownership
Scotiabank follows an AOO principal which represent attitude, opportunity and ownership. Which refers to being attentive about relationships and knowledge, take initiatives and be part of a community/team, take ownership of the responsibilities associated and be confident about it.
The last day of the events, we have had breakfast at the hotel shortly followed by the fourth challenge which is a puzzle. There was only one team that has completed under the time limit and my team was stuck at the very last stage. When the winners were announced, I do not feel as anxious as I felt when I was at case competitions. Mainly due to the fact that I have had so much fun along the way and I have built the relationships I wanted to in the beginning .
At the end, we have all gathered together, some were taking opportunities to talk to their mentors, some were filming TikToks videos, some were spending their time talking with their new friends. Yet, I feel that the culture is so embracing and unparallel, in addition to their investment towards us. I would love to take this opportunity to thank you all the time Scotiabank team have invested towards us and my mentor Jen who has been guiding our team through challenges!
Canadian Top Student Challenge Participant — 2019 (Feb 26 — Feb 28)
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