Class of 2002 – CSI
Innis Alumna, Sandra Moore, has been navigating her way through the corporate banking landscape. Throughout her journey, she has identified some common guidelines that are sure to be helpful for anyone trying to breakthrough into this corporate world. Armed with great insight, she has shared with us her work rules to live by.
What were your programs of study while at U of T (i.e., minors, majors, specialist)?
MAJOR: Cinema Studies
In a few words, please outline your career path. What inspired you to pursue your current career?
I wanted to work in the brokerage industry because I was very interested in the markets. I also wanted to work for a company that offered a good pension and (possible) maternity leave.
Have you experienced any adversity as a woman in the business world? If so, how did you overcome it?
I’m not sure if I have, and more to the point, I believe that we manifest our own success or failure based on choices, so I can certainly comment on my own mistakes that my have held me back. However, there are a few general things that anyone should be conscious of in his or her workplace.
- Dress the part. Always make sure that you are dressing appropriately for your workplace. In many environments, there is a difference between work clothing and social clothing.
- Always be gracious. Greet everyone with a smile and a calm voice.
- Be reliable and very, very punctual. It is much better to be early than to be late. Being on time for meetings means being 15 minutes early.
- Be in control of your actions are workplace social gatherings. Although it is a time to relax with coworkers, remember you are still surrounded by your colleagues.
The corporate world, as expected, is results oriented. Don’t come with excuses. Accept your failures, re-group and move on. Have heart; there is nothing one cannot come back from. The corporate world is competitive; one must always work one’s hardest to show the employer that you are a valuable piece of the company’s success.
What is the most important lesson you have learned during your career?
Don’t be a narcissist; there is no job to small for you to do. This sets a good example. Gratitude; having a job is a thing that should not be taken for granted. Re-read every email twice or three times before you respond. Watch your tone in your responses; humour and sarcasm can often be misinterpreted don’t *try* and be funny.
Take your vacations and sick days. Don’t look for anyone to give you permission (or be happy) that you are leaving for two weeks vacation, but simply give lots of advance notice and go. Be aware of taking time off during your initial three-month probation period. For some reason, new hires always schedule mini-holidays right after they get hired. This is bad for “optics”; it does not reinforce the idea of commitment to the job.
While attending UofT, which, if any, extra-curricular activities were you involved with outside of the classroom (e.g., clubs, teams, volunteerism, on-campus employment)?
No. But I sincerely regret it.
What is your favourite memory from your time spent at Innis College?
I liked the time spend in the Innis library on winter afternoons.
Do you have any advice you would like to share with current Innis students?
You will be fine. Study what you love and if you can’t get a job in that field, get any job until you can find your way there. The world has enough lawyers and accountants. Pick something less conformist. You will likely need to take a college or practical course, or go graduate school in your life so pace yourself and be aware that burn out is a real thing.