In early August 2020, Robyn Ross led a virtual panel discussion with three participants of Burgundy’s internship program. In this conversation, Inaara Panjwani, Emma Juskovic, and Abigail Bibbings reflect on their experiences as women in finance, offering insight into their educational and career paths and sharing tips on what they’ve learned along the way.

Panel participants: Robyn Ross, Emma Juskovic, Inaara Panjwani, Abigail Bibbings

Despite coming from different educational backgrounds (Inaara hails from Queen’s, Emma from Western’s business program at Ivey, and Abigail from Laurier), these women share similarities in their approach to standing out in a resume and remaining confident in an interview, as well as their appreciation for mentorship, and their willingness to trust their instincts and combat perfectionism.

All three women cite including your passions as an important and often overlooked area in the resume writing process. Beyond a penchant for finance, Inaara notes the importance of leveraging the “skills and interests” section of the resume to showcase other areas you are enthusiastic about:

“Pick experiences that are broader and not directly related to what you’re applying to. From people that I’ve talked to that are in recruiting, a lot of these bigger companies find that all of these resumes start to sound the same after a while. People are all on consulting clubs or finance clubs, so just showing that you are interested in other things and pursuing things that you find fun can go a long way.”

After a resume makes it through the slush pile, the stress of the interview stage may be overwhelming for some, making it challenging to maintain confidence and mitigate self-doubt. Abigail speaks to keeping a healthy relationship with this uncertainty, acknowledging its existence but not letting it dictate your actions:

“It really took me telling myself that at the end of the day, there is not a whole lot that you have to lose from interviewing and putting yourself out there […]. Self-doubt is something that I don’t think ever entirely goes away, but that’s not an entirely bad thing either because you always want to make sure that you’re fact-checking yourself and you’re being honest about what you know and what you don’t know […].”

The finance industry is often portrayed as male-dominated and cutthroat and the intimidation factor is something that all of these women can attest to. When it comes to misconceptions in the business, Emma reflects on how her opinions shifted with increased exposure and experience:

“I always thought there was a specific type in the jobs that I was interviewing for […]. We are surrounded by movies like The Wolf of Wall Street and Boiler Room, which definitely give you the wrong impression. I was pleasantly surprised, not only when starting my job at Burgundy, but also in banking, which seems to be the centre of all of that stereotyping. There were so many people that were so casual and so nice, just people who are trying to learn, who are going through life the same way you are.”

Please read the entire transcript for more helpful pieces of advice from these women. Their skills have taken them on three distinct and exciting career paths and their lessons offer an inspiring perspective, reminding young women not to discount their abilities or shy away from opportunities that on the surface may appear intimidating or idealistic.

Resume and Interview Panel Full Transcript.