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At Citi, young employees have opportunities to work with colleagues across its operations in 160 countries and jurisdictions.Supplied

Sarah Folk has no regrets about launching her career at Citi Canada after she graduated in commerce from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, still unsure about what direction to take.

“Being able to come to a company that gave me the opportunity to work on different teams and network with different people was very attractive,” says the treasury and trade solutions analyst. “I also liked that they are a very global company. I thought that it would be a great place to start my career.”

Folk joined the New York-based global bank in June 2021 for a 10-week summer work placement before her final year of university. Attracted by its rotational program, she returned to Citi the following year after graduation. She trained in New York before returning to Toronto, where she has enjoyed working with a variety of teams, some more client-facing and others more product-focused. Citi offers entry-level analyst programs in several different streams, including corporate banking, investment banking, private banking, treasury, technology and markets.

“You really get an idea where you think your skills are and where you want to improve,” Folk says. “It’s a very hands-on type of learning.”

Hiring young people at the start of their careers and providing them with the training and tools they need to succeed is intentional at Citi.

“We really see the benefit of on-the-job learning and on-the-job training. We know that formal training is not the most impactful training for people. It is on the job. It’s learning from others, it’s exposure, it’s real-time opportunity and that’s where our focus is,” says Aleta Froemmel, country human resources officer.

Young employees are also encouraged to take ownership of projects and are given the opportunity to work with people around the world. Based in Citi’s downtown Toronto office, Folk is currently co-managing a portfolio of global corporate clients during her first rotation.

“Our philosophy is when you have great talent, you provide them with opportunities to learn, grow and develop throughout their career journey,” Froemmel says.

Citi operates in 160 countries and jurisdictions. Global by nature, the bank has progressive policies about hiring, ensuring there is a diverse pool of candidates for each position. It also supports several employee-led affinity groups. Folk is a member of the ‘Women’s Network.’

“As a woman in business it is important to make sure that women’s voices are being heard across the organization and also, for younger women like me, to have role models to look up to. Through the network, this is something we’ve been able to accomplish,” she says. “I’ve also been passionate about getting involved and giving back to the community. It’s important for me to work for a company that encourages that.”

Folk recently helped to organize a week-long charity event where employees donated gift cards and gently used jackets, dress pants, skirts, and other workwear for Dress for Success, a non-profit organization empowering women to achieve economic independence.

Confident that Citi will continue to support her career development, Folk has her eyes set on leadership. But before moving into more senior positions, her priority now is completing the company’s two-year analyst program.

“There is a lot of opportunity here,” she says. “I have grown a lot in my career in this short amount of time. I’m using my commerce degree but I’m also learning a lot that I didn’t necessarily learn in school.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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