I joined the client management team at AP in November to take over from Ciara during her maternity leave. It’s kind of crazy, a typical pandemic job, my first foray back into the working world – I have actually been out for 15 years or so. I made the decision back in September, my kids are older and don’t need me in the same way that they did when they were growing up. I had thought, who is going to hire somebody in a pandemic? It was obviously fate for me, slight rollercoaster year but I’ve fallen into the perfect role!
My previous role was Assistant Vice President at State Street, mostly working on the relationship management side, taking care of some of the largest Canadian pension clients. Bizarrely, we just got a deal with a business who is decommissioning all the oil rigs out in Alberta and their client is the Government of Alberta – which was my largest client at State Street. It is serendipity!
The role at AP is a perfect fit. I love the flexibility and the talking to people, building relationships, really getting to know your clients. Every day is different. It’s the balance I needed, I can still pick my kids up from school, not just because you can’t take public transport these days but because I want to be there for them. But also do something for me. I get to oversee the processing of invoices on our platform and conduct interesting research as part of the KYC (Know your Client) step – it is a great mix of numbers, finance, client calls and troubleshooting. This job is the whole perfect package for me!
It is a crazy time to join a company, but I think I’m actually at an advantage having had the hiatus of 15 years between roles. To me, this is “normal” working! The strange thing is that I’ve not met anyone in person– only briefly Adam when he dropped off my computer at my house in the front yard. The team have been so wonderfully welcoming, I wasn’t even nervous during the interview because they made me very comfortable – more worried about being able to work the technology than chatting to people. Now I am online and have gone through the training – it’s amazing, I talk to Mark (Duffy, Head of Operations, North America) and Ben (Ingram, Business Development) all the time, so it feels like watercooler chit chat.
To be honest, everyone at AP is just so nice, I was shocked when I first joined. Everyone is booking meetings to meet me one on one. To be part of a company where each individual is genuinely nice, helpful and supportive. Everyone has put so much effort – it is very impressive. Ian (Duffy, CEO) always says in the Friday team calls how much he enjoys working with the people, that the team make the company and it is so true – AP really has a fantastic team.
We have a little cottage up north. I grew up spending all summer at the cottage and I wanted my kids to do the same. Boating, kayaking, just being outside. I’ve been trying to grow my own vegetables, a bit difficult when the cottage is built on a rock! But, even with the extreme weather we did pretty well last year. We put in some raised beds and have to shuttle the soil in by boat. We’ve managed to grow enough romaine lettuce, beets, tomatoes and cucumbers to make a decent salad.
One thing, I enjoy apart from my family, is working out. I miss the structure of going to my exercise class. Before the pandemic I was working out three times a week. I have found it a little tough to continuously motivate myself online to do a full strength work out where you feel strong and energized. It’s always good to have someone to hold you accountable, to motivate you and to call if you’re running 1 min late to your work out. Or to push you to do burpees (which I hate with a passion). My personal trainer found me a t-shirt online which said, “Burpees hate you too!” We do have some equipment at home, but it’s slightly different to the connection you have when you’re in a class and with people.
Of course, it’s a lot of ice hockey for my whole family. My husband coaches my daughter’s team, and I am the manager and trainer of my other daughter’s team. So, you can imagine we are super involved – I am a full-on hockey mom. I had hoped we would be a ski family, but my youngest always had an inkling for hockey and moved to competitive stream within a year of starting out. My husband now puts boards up and floods the back yard with a garden hose overnight, so we have our own makeshift ice rink. I call it is his little “zen place.”
My eldest daughter worked her way through a bunch of activities including basketball and appeared to rebel against the idea of hockey. But, as soon as she tried on hockey skates rather than figure skates that was it. Thankfully, we have a really supportive local programme who is encouraging older girls to join 6-week programmes. North America is injecting a lot of money into girls’ sports, and in particular hockey in Canada. It’s a real inspiration for those girls who want to get into activities later on in life. We want to show them that they can achieve anything they want, whenever they want. A little like my going back to work, I guess! My daughter is my little inspiration story for sure. You’re never too old! Now is the time to think about what to try next, take a chance, take a risk. We’re at this point in our lives where we never thought we’d be. As soon as we’re out of lockdown we should all just live life, try new things and do more.