Maritza’s Path to BMORE
Meet Maritza, a Cara participant who is currently an Associate Banker at BMO. She shares her experience joining BMORE, a workforce development program co-created by BMO and Cara Collective to remove barriers and increase access to careers in banking and finance.
“Before I started at Cara Collective, I relied heavily on Medicaid and food stamps to support me. I was feeling unmotivated. I was just making ends meet and I wanted to be self-sufficient, so I started looking into options that could help me grow.
“My experience with Cara Collective and BMORE was magnificent. I’ve never been through more organized programs. You can tell everyone there really focuses on each individual person. Cara really wants to see you succeed by giving you all the tools you need to stay motivated: a coach, therapy, mock interviews, professional clothing… I made sure to use all the resources. The professional clothing made me feel more confident in myself and the one-time rental-assistance helped so much. I was also so impressed that I was able to do mock interviews with top executives from companies around Chicago. It prepared me for the real world.
“Cara got me a job as an Associate Banker at BMO. The BMORE program set me up for a career I never thought I could have. It changed my life. It helped me become a lot more professional. I really work hard to be the best employee that I can be and I’ve learned so many skills along the way. I’ve learned a lot about how to handle money, balancing drawers, and office management. We assist customers with anything they need, and the main priority is to ensure they’re satisfied. All of the regulars who come to my branch know me, and have commended me for my customer service.
“The learning curve of how to balance the drawer at the end of the day was the most challenging part about the job. Also, it is a fast-paced environment, so it was challenging to keep up sometimes. But my manager coached and trained me through it, and I was able to learn and overcome it. I worked really hard and persevered until the pace wasn’t an issue anymore.
“The most important thing to consider in this role is to be transparent, effecient, and courteous with customers. Time management and attention to detail is also key. If you remember those things, you will find a chance to climb the ladder.
“The process isn’t going to be easy, but keep persevering because it pays off. The uncomfortable feelings you get sometimes are the ones that help you grow.”