A passion for FinTech: co-op at CIBC

Trupthi Raghu (she/her) is pursuing a Master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering. In this blog, she discusses getting to explore Finance and Technology (FinTech) and the challenges of working in the financial sector.


Trupthi's co-op journey

Work terms one and two: At CIBC, Trupthi was a quality analyst. Her responsibilities were mostly related to quality assurance (QA) and development, creating reports, validation of data and developing an application to automate the reporting process.


Q&A with Trupthi

Describe your co-op term in one word.

“Enriching. My previous work experience was mostly limited to startups and I had no idea how big organizations functioned. Through co-op, I was able to experience the best of both worlds and add so much to my repertoire. I now know how large organizations work both internally and externally, what constraints they have and how they differ from startup organizations.”


University of Waterloo Engineering co-op student, Trupthi Raghu sitting on a rock smiling.What challenges did you face being a master’s co-op student

“It’s challenging having to navigate through the workspace when your fellow students are undergraduate students. Managers want to give undergraduate students a good experience and not pressure them too much, whereas I was used to a certain level of workload because of my previous experience.”

“Adapting to different work environments and getting used to my roles was another difficulty. Every workplace has its own expectations, dynamics and processes. It was a whole new world and it took me some time to take it all in.”
 


What were you curious about learning at CIBC?

“Working at one of the top five banks in Canada meant I got to explore a lot of initiatives related to financial technology. I was exposed to FinTech such as blockchain applications and digital payment solutions which are shaping the financial industry. The finance sector was unexplored territory for me and I was very intrigued to learn more about these things.”

“Another thing I learned along the way was how customer-centric the banking industry truly is. The startups I worked for did serve customers but not directly, whereas here there was a direct link between office employees and customers. I was curious about learning to build meaningful connections with customers, bettering their experience with us and implementing their feedback.”


What advice do you have for other master’s co-op students?University of Waterloo Engineering co-op student, Trupthi Raghu sitting in an office smiling.

“Grab every opportunity that comes your way, because you never know where you’ll end up. Personally, I never expected to be a part of this industry, but I’m so glad I took this opportunity. The amount of exposure I’ve gotten is incredible, both in terms of knowledge and networking.”

“Just be a sponge and absorb everything that you can. Some people believe that saying “no” is a talent that everyone should possess, but I don’t say no to opportunities. Every opportunity works in mysterious ways and I’m very grateful for my experience with co-op.”


University of Waterloo Engineering co-op student, Trupthi Raghu posing in front of a future leaders powerpoint slide.What’s next for you?

“For me, the path forward involves delving deeper into the dynamic fusion of Finance and Technology. With my experience at CIBC and background in Electrical and Computer Engineering, I'm keen on exploring innovative FinTech solutions while nurturing authentic customer relationships."

"Whether it's pursuing further education, specializing in a particular area, or advancing within a prominent organization, I'm prepared to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead with determination and enthusiasm.”


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