Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Griffin LeBlanc began his Dal journey enrolled in the Bachelor of Management Program. After his first semester, though, he felt the Commerce program, with its mandatory co-op component, was the right fit for him, and decided to transfer.
Having completed his first co-op work term with the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission in a Financial Analyst role, Griffin secured his second work term at the end of last summer with RCAP Leasing, a subsidiary of RBC Financial Group, and one of Canada’s longest-serving and most-respected equipment financing businesses.
Working for RCAP meant moving to Burlington, Ontario, where Griffin did not know anyone. Thankfully his supervisor and colleagues helped ease the transition to a new job in a new city.
“On my first day, my supervisor Lucy introduced me to some of the younger staff. It was comforting to know that my supervisor and colleagues were looking out for me and making sure I felt welcome. In fact, some of the friends I made while working at RCAP are still very close to me.”
During his time with RCAP Leasing as an Equipment Finance Specialist, Griffin gained a lot of knowledge about an industry that he admits to previously knowing very little about, and feels is not very widely-known by other students as well.
“I was RCAP’s first co-op student ever which was pretty unique. It was a great experience since my supervisor had me work in all of the departments in the office. This provided me with an excellent overview of the company and how each of the departments works together.
I would definitely recommend that other students consider working for an asset-based financing company. The RCAP experience opened my eyes to the world of lending. This then led me to combine my interests of lending and real estate together, by landing my final co-op job at The Bentley Group, a mortgage brokerage. Although I did not continue working in asset-based financing specifically, I still continued working in the lending industry and can thank my co-op experience for opening my eyes to other opportunities within the industry.”
Fast forward to a year after he secured his co-op with RCAP, Griffin was invited by the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association (CFLA) to attend their annual conference in Vancouver, all expenses paid. They asked him to participate in a panel discussion entitled, “Campus Recruitment: Your Gateway to the New Workforce” about how employers in the Vehicle & Equipment Finance industry can leverage co-op programs to grow their teams.
During the panel discussion, Griffin reflected on his RCAP co-op experience and his former supervisor, Lucy Forte-Morelli, CFLA Board Member & VP Operations, Equipment Finance Leasing, RCAP Leasing, who was also on the panel, explained how Griffin’s work helped to make some of RCAP’s processes more efficient, and how he offered a valuable perspective in meetings.
Griffin was grateful for the opportunity to share his thoughts and take advantage of the valuable networking opportunity the conference had to offer.
“I learned how important and rewarding it is to attend conferences. You meet so many people, and business deals can easily get done or started at conferences. I was the only student at the conference, so it was nice to have employers wanting to talk to me after my panel discussion. [The conference] was an amazing experience for me. Not only did I meet some incredible people, but the conference also opened doors to potential jobs after graduation.
[The conference] also brought to my attention the fact that people who work in this industry enjoy helping others to achieve their goals, which is a great thing, and that there are “small-ticket” and “large-ticket” companies. Having a career in asset-based financing is great because there are many different avenues of the industry to explore.”
With only two semesters to go before graduating, Griffin is confident that his decision to pursue co-op education through the Commerce program has helped him to grow and mature in a significant way over the past few years. He has yet to determine exactly what he wants to do next with his career but doesn’t worry about finding a job, with so many options now available to him.
“I feel prepared to take on the world no matter which path I take.”