Starting My Journey with Tangerine's Inspire Program

Written by Tangerine

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Inspire is a part of TILT (Talent Incubators for Leaders of Tomorrow), a collection of programs made just for new graduates. It's an 18-month performance-oriented rotational program designed to develop Associates in various technology business lines at Tangerine.

Each 6-month rotation will support Associates in building new skills and exposing them to areas that interest them the most. The program offers a formalized mentorship plan, workshops and training & development to help Associates launch their careers as future leaders in technology.

To provide a glimpse into Inspire, we did a short interview with Associate Valentina Pentcheva.

Q: Before we get started, tell us a little about yourself.

A: I'm Valentina, and I'm a part of the first cohort of Tangerine's Inspire program, with my first rotation in Digital Marketing Technology. Inspire is a new grad rotational program at Tangerine for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM students, allowing us to get a feel for working in different technical or non-technical roles while developing our skills and kickstarting our careers.

I recently graduated from the University of Toronto this June, with a Specialist in Physics and Philosophy and a Math minor, and I started my journey at Tangerine shortly after.

Q: Why did you consider joining Tangerine?

A: Back in Dec 2018, I attended an Ethics and Artificial Intelligence conference held by Scotiabank. I was super intrigued by how one of Canada's biggest banks dedicated a day to educate themselves and work towards implementing these lessons at the bank.

As a philosophy student, ethics are very important to me, and as a physics student, being a problem solver is where my passion lies. A technical role where I can develop and apply my passion and have my values align with the bank sounded perfect, which is why I chose to join Scotiabank.

Within Scotiabank I discovered Tangerine, a smaller, fast-paced, innovative digital bank. Mixing such an upbeat culture with fast paced innovation - which I am able to more directly contribute to at a smaller bank - excited me just that much more!

Q: What are some of your career goals?

A: When I think about my career goals, I think more about high-level aspirations. For me, it's simple. Whatever it is I do in the world of technology, I want to do it right. By that I mean that I'll feel good knowing I contributed to something positive and beneficial for the world. Technology is constantly evolving, Artificial Intelligence is becoming more prominent, and with that, many new world challenges arise. I aspire to contribute to it all, in the best way possible.

Q: What has been a highlight of your time at Tangerine?

A: I'd have to say that a highlight of the short three months I've been at Tangerine has definitely been how I am constantly getting the opportunity to choose what projects and problems I want to tackle as well as how I want to tackle them. Whether it's by developing a new skill, which I get time to learn, or strengthening an existing one, I'm always learning and advancing myself as well as contributing to the bank, in my own unique way.

Q: Do you have any advice for students?

A: If I were to give any advice to students, it would be that the job hunt is going to be hard, but don't give up and don't settle for less. Even if you feel like all that work you've put in for four or more years is not serving you right now, it will pay off, and it often will with the blink of an eye.

You should also know your worth and choose a job that aligns with your values — at least in some way. Even if you don't use a lot of what you learned — which is the case more often than not — your time in school has developed you, and your skills are valuable. It might take some time, but once you get that first job, you'll see.

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