School of Religion

​Aleksander Ulanicki

Associate, Global Credit, RBC Capital Markets

My Job

I manage an industry-specific portfolio of credit relationships within the Global Credit division of RBC Capital Markets. Working closely with other areas of RBC Capital Markets and the Bank, I help deliver a full range of credit and banking services to multinational and other large corporate globally. Assigned portfolio management includes responsibility for managing the credit risk facilities, primarily syndicated and bilateral loans and trading/derivative lines.  Specific tasks include preparation of credit renewals, amendments and annual reviews and other credit correspondence and loan documentation review.

The Advantage of Religious Studies

One may think that in order to be valuable to a financial institution a degree in finance would be a requirement. However, over the course of my five year career in banking I have found that many principles from my undergraduate degree in Religious Studies have proven to be a major asset and differentiator.

One such principle has been critical thinking and writing. Writing is not something that can be taught in a mechanical fashion, such as finance equations, or through one quick workshop. Writing comes through a prolonged period of time studying the way other people think and write, writing plenty for yourself, and a thorough knowledge of culture. Furthermore, I was always told to read every source in my undergraduate in a manner in which I would be evaluating the validity of every statement made. This has in turn lead to me having a keen attention to detail and a critical eye to always be on the lookout for ways to improve the way we operate in our day to day tasks. This has proven valuable in providing me with the ability to analyze an argument, take it apart and consider other routes. This enables me to be someone who can find solutions and help others to see new possibilities from a different angle.

Another principle that has been of immense value is emotional intelligence and an understanding of different world views. One of the major portions of a Religious Studies undergrad was that it was a study of people of many different cultures, backgrounds and viewpoints. My degree has given me invaluable tools in order to figure out how to understand and relate to people, and use language to convince them of a particular viewpoint. This has proven useful in articulating my opinions in the most effective manner to different audiences to ensure that what I am proposing/suggesting is received in a respectful and well received fashion. This experience enables me to effectively analyze issues from a variety of perspectives and understand how to leverage diversity in a productive and dynamic manner.

Ultimately, I believe that well a traditional business degree provides people with solid traditional building blocks to succeed in understanding financial principles they tend to lack some of the less quantifiable and potentially more important skills. I believe that my unique undergraduate degree has been of immense help in my career to this point and will continue to help me in my future career path. Particularly as I move into move senior management positions with people and change management components.

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