By Erica Pulling, WorkStory Ambassador at Western University
Tanner Fryfogel is an associate account manager in commercial banking at RBC. He is responsible for maintaining positive relationships with business owners, and introducing them to other bank employees to help with their specific needs. In addition to working with existing customers, he also tries to meet new clients and bring them over to RBC.
Tanner completed a two-year diploma at Fanshawe College in Business, followed by an advanced diploma in leadership and management. During his time at Fanshawe, he realised that getting a university degree would open more doors in the field he was interested in, so he decided to use the credits he had already earned towards a degree at Nipissing University. With those, he studied another one year and a semester to complete a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
While completing his last semester of university, Tanner learned about The RBC Career LaunchTM Program offered through RBC. Each year, this program hires 100 recent graduates from around Canada for a one-year contract. Because of his interest in commercial banking, Tanner felt this program would be a good fit for him. Initially, he applied for the program online. He was then contacted for a phone interview, followed by a Skype interview. After successfully completing the first three steps, Tanner was brought to Guelph for a panel interview with other applicants from the area. During the interview, applicants were put through a variety of tasks designed to test how well they could think on their feet. After successfully completing this interview, Tanner was accepted into the program.
In late January, Tanner and the other new employees in the program were brought to Toronto for a three-day conference. During these three days they were given the opportunity to hear a number of speakers and get to know the other members of the program. After the conference, Tanner returned to London, where he completed the program. The first six months of the program were spent working in a branch. During this time, he spent four days a week working as a bank teller, helping clients, and doing tasks around the branch. The fifth day was spent on training and personal development, where he was able to develop skills like communication, teamwork, and critical thinking.
Next, Tanner spent three months working at Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU). YOU is a not-for-profit organization located in London, Ontario dedicated to helping youth in the community by providing them with the skills, confidence, and independence they need to succeed. During these three months, Tanner was responsible for helping with business development. This involved taking care of marketing activities, selling products created by young people in the program, creating and pricing gift baskets, and helping in any other way he could.
After his time at YOU, Tanner spent the remaining three months working at a regional branch in commercial banking services. He was put in charge of a special project investigating how best the branch could open up communications and get better wealth management referrals. RBC noticed that clients who used RBC for their business banking often used a different bank for their personal investments, and Tanner was responsible for investigating why this disconnect existed, and how they might be able to solve the problem. According to Tanner, this was a great opportunity to learn more about commercial banking, as well as to network and meet people who he may not have otherwise met.
At the end of the 12 months, Tanner and the other employees were brought back to Toronto for a final conference that signalled the end of the program. Shortly thereafter, Tanner was called back in for his current position as an associate account manager.
Tanner’s favourite part of the job is working with a variety of people, and getting to know clients. Since every business owner is different, he enjoys figuring people out and getting to learn about people.
When asked his opinion regarding how current students could be successful in finding a job after graduation, Tanner stresses the importance of networking. He recommends taking the opportunity to get out and meet new people, and to keep in touch with them. He believes the Career Launch Program was very useful because it allowed him to meet so many people in his field of interest. According to Tanner, knowing people makes it that much easier to find a job!