“I go the extra mile to help clients understand the services available.”
Heather Soares, Personal Banking Officer, Sheridan Centre Branch, Mississauga, Ontario. 905-822-5966, ext 2008.
Name: Heather Soares
Country of origin: India
Year of arrival in Canada: 2009
How I became a Scotiabanker: Heather Soares moved her two teenagers to Mississauga, Ontario from Pune, India. Determined to build a future for her girls, Heather was hesitant to accept the guest room of a friend, or a credit card from her bank, since she wanted to avoid dependence. She juggled a temporary job at a big box store alongside her eldest daughter, upgraded her skills at the Peel Mentoring Partnership for internationally-trained professionals, and studied during her bus commute. Through ACCES, a program sponsored in part by Scotiabank, which assists job seekers new to Canada, Heather was able to write her Canadian Securities exam at no cost, and find a job at Scotiabank a year after arriving in Canada.
Heather’s advice for newcomers: She herself benefited from the Scotiabank StartRight® Program for Newcomers – which includes a free day-to-day bank account for one year, a wide range of credit card options and a number of other customized services and benefits – when she moved to Canada. “It was wonderful for a bank to offer a credit card when no one would even rent you an apartment,” notes Heather. “Now I know that it’s important to obtain credit within three years of coming to Canada. First, because life is expensive, and because you must build a credit history to show you are responsible.” Heather also counsels immigrants about saving for their goals, like a new car or home ownership, by starting to save with higher-interest savings accounts and accessing government programs.
Posted: Jul 31, 2013