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Alex LaPlante is the vice president of transformation & chief operating office, technology & operations, at RBC.Supplied

When Hussam Tahir was considering potential career options that might be open to him once he completed his undergrad degree in software development, he didn’t think about working for a bank like RBC as an option.

“As a programmer, I thought banks only offered careers in financial services,” says Tahir. “But I’ve learned that RBC has a large technology team with people I can learn from and a fulfilling career path for me.”

RBC recruits early talent with a wide range of educational backgrounds into many areas of the bank. Tahir learned this thanks to Discover RBC, a new recruitment program that informs students about the breadth of RBC’s businesses and the extensive opportunities it can offer them as they launch their careers.

In September 2023, Discover RBC started getting the word out via LinkedIn, by reaching out to campuses through career services, clubs and organizations, and through RBC student ambassadors. More than 6,600 students registered for the initial virtual sessions, which provided an overview of RBC and its various career paths.

The RBC Early Talent team then held 21 in-person sessions on 15 campuses across Canada to provide students with deeper insights into RBC’s various business groups such as personal and commercial banking, capital markets, insurance or technology. The goal was to help them decide which areas of the bank best aligned with their own career aspirations.

Tahir’s long-term goal is to work in artificial intelligence (AI), but he needed to complete a second co-op placement in order to graduate from Seneca Polytechnic in Toronto.

After reading about Discover RBC in his college newsletter, he contacted one of the recruiters. That led to several interviews, which in turn led to an offer to join the team as a data analyst intern.

“The entire process took less than three weeks and was very straightforward,” says Tahir, who started his placement early in 2024. “I’m very excited to be working with RBC.”

According to Alex LaPlante, vice president, transformation & chief operating office, technology & operations, RBC helps thousands of young people each year with the transition from education to employment.

In 2023, for example, the RBC global early talent team recruited more than 1,900 interns for the summer term, 800 for internships starting in fall or winter, and 450 new graduates for full-time positions upon completion of their studies.

LaPlante points to a program called Amplify as just one example of how RBC provides students with hands-on work experience and supports and mentors them as they develop their professional, technical and interpersonal skills.

“Amplify is an immersive summer innovation program where cross-functional teams comprising four postsecondary students and graduates, tackle real business challenges identified by RBC’s leaders,” says LaPlante. “The teams are asked to develop a groundbreaking technological solution in just four months and then pitch their product to a panel of RBC executive judges at a live event for the chance to win a prize.”

As well as being one of Canada’s largest employers, RBC is one of the country’s largest technology employers with more than 9,000 ‘Tech@RBC’ employees engaged in cutting-edge work in AI and machine learning, software development, cloud, digital, data science, cybersecurity and more, to help drive value for clients.

“RBC’s senior leaders have consistently championed innovation in the financial sector,” says LaPlante. “Thanks to significant investments that put us at the forefront of technology advancements, we will continue to serve the changing needs of our clients.”

For LaPlante, the opportunity to do work that has a positive impact is just one good reason early tech talent should look to RBC.

“RBC offers the whole package,” she says. “There are continual opportunities for technologists to learn, grow and develop meaningful career paths.”

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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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