Growing up in Botswana, Pritpal Gill experienced a culture shift — or shock — between North America and other continents. “In Botswana, networking is not huge; it’s more about performance,” Gill says. “There’s an expectation here that you maintain your network and continue to build it — all while managing the day-to-day responsibilities and managing my role as an advocate and ambassador.”
A Schulich School of Business MBA graduate, Gill began as an Associate in CIBC’s Graduates Matter Rotational Program at the MBA level. He completed his studies in December 2014 and began his career at CIBC in January 2015. Having learned from diverse business units, Gill is now working in Asset Based Lending in the Business Banking space.
After four 6-month rotations, Gill had the opportunity to experience different aspects of the bank. “The bank is so huge, it’s such a blessing to get to work in different areas over a short span of time,” he says. “You get to showcase your skill sets and gain exposure to various leaders.”
Backed by a strong leadership platform and a supportive, collaborative team, Gill soon found his place and his network. “As you move through the journey, you meet mentors and teammates you learn from,” he adds.
Learning was one of Gill’s biggest motivators, along with an opportunity to explore, engage and discover the vast world of CIBC. “I met the amazing CIBC Talent Strategies team at Schulich, who talked about the welcoming culture at CIBC, with an emphasis on learning and exposure,” says Gill. “And while I knew I wanted to end up in financial services, I was able to test the different areas of the bank through the GMRP and get out of my comfort zone in a safe environment. This made CIBC a great fit.”
Having evolved from every opportunity he faced, Gill’s advice for future generations is to show no fear and embrace everything that comes your way. “Try new things,” he says. “Don’t box yourself in. Open yourself up to new experiences. Everything is evolving and you need to be able to as well.”