Financial Service Representative - Progressa (a Top 250 Fintech Start-up)

Every big dream starts with a small step – the right direction for a Master-degree Finance graduate to build the foundation for his career.

 J. Zhang is an energetic and hard-working international student.  He graduated top class with Bachelor of Commerce (Distinguished) specializing in Finance at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. With a strong passion in finance and investment, he decided to continue his studies and he completed his Master of Finance at DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. He was also a CFA Level 2 Candidate and he was well on his way to pursue the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Our QuickStart Program has helped J. secure a Financial Service Representative position at Progressa, which is ranked as one of the top 250 Fintech Start-up in 2018Check out his success story below.


“We all know that the finance industry, especially the investment field, has an extremely competitive job market. Thus J. found it extremely hard to get started… 

While studying at school, he did some part-time jobs related to accounting and business operation for small local businesses. But he had not had exposure to the finance industry….”

His dream was to become an Investment Analyst, which normally required a few years of relevant work experience and exceptional communication skills…

We listened carefully to his story, his career goals and we analyzed thoroughly his profile. We realized the issue was the lack of relevant work experience, which was very common among international students. It was totally understandable as it was extremely hard to land a part-time job or an internship related to investment with a prestigious financial institution here in Canada. 

Our research and experience confirm we all need proper guidance, preparation and training to achieve that kind of internships, starting as soon as our 1st year in university (that’s why we create the Career Success Model Program) . However, he was working hard on his own part-time jobs and his studies. Thus we believed he would eventually achieved his career goal with such high-quality personal characters. It was a question of HOW we could do this.  

It has been a while since he was looking for job related to investment such as Equity Research Analyst, Fixed Income Analyst…etc and he had no interview. It was clear that with no luck and his profile was not “ready” yet for such positions. As international students, his work permit didn’t allow him to waste much time. We needed to be realistic and practical to assist him in getting a full time well-positioned job as soon as possible. “Well-positioned” meant the job had to be a good foundation for his next move to reach his ultimate goal 

We took into consideration all factors including his personal situation and we created a realistic action plan for him. We recommended J. to take a well-positioned entry level job in finance to earn up relevant work experience first. While working, he needed to learn advanced data analytic skills such as VBA and SQL to strengthen his profile. If he was interested in equity research, he then needs to follow his favorite stocks and build his own pitch to get attention from industry professionals. That is only half of the equation, the other half is networking to build up contacts for job referrals. With a clear strategy, we designed a personalized training plan to:

1. Get a “well-positioned” full-time job in the finance industry.

2. Equip him practical networking strategies to build up connections for future job referrals.

With execution mode was on, we aggressively applied all our training experience to level up his interview skills exponentially within a short period of time. We leveraged our internal network contacts to set up interviews for him. We also spent a lot of time on practicing networking skills/strategies. As a result, Jackson would be able to set up networking meetings and actually build up confidence in the networking game.

After a few interviews, J. finally aced a challenging interview with one of the most fast-growing Fintech company called Progressa. He was officially offered a Financial Service Representative position, however as it was a startup, he was doing much more than his title, last time we checked in he was helping the head of operation to build up a whole new operation team. With his exposure to the trendy Fintech (Finance Technology) industry, he has learned relevant work experience with important skills to help him put one step closer to his ultimate goal of becoming an Investment Analyst in the future.   

“All aspects of the service are excellent. From the service, I improved my communication skills, interview skills, and my confidence. My training manager supports me in all the ways and tries his best to solve any problems that I met. His training method is easy to be understood and very effective. He understands the interviews very well. When I was depressed because of some interview failure, he also encouraged me and help me to move on.”

J. Zhang – Financial Service Representative – Progressa

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