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S M Rakibul Islam

SFU Student Undergraduate
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Marketing | Beedie School of Business › Marketing

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The old saying ‘fake it till you make it’ is, in my opinion, terrible advice. Instead, genuinely believe in yourself, and you'll discover that, more often than not, you can achieve what you set out to do.

On the day of my interview with BlueShore Financial – a boutique financial institution offering personalized banking solutions, I was overwhelmed with a sense of anticipation. Arriving early, a practice I deem essential for interview preparation, allowed me to absorb the energetic environment, collect my thoughts, and acknowledge the reality of the moment: I was here. While waiting, I shared the space with a BlueShore client. Our eyes locked, leading to a natural conversation. I informed him about my interview and expressed my nerves. His response, “If you believe you can do it, you will do it,” and this introduced me to the 'can-do attitude,' a fundamental aspect of BlueShore's corporate culture, even before securing a position.

As I write this, I am nearing the end of my first term as Marketing & Communications Coordinator at BlueShore. I have yet to meet an individual who is not up for a challenge. There has not been a time when I needed help or assistance, and felt alone. This is because BlueShore Financial truly set me up for success—they instilled in me this 'can-do attitude.' The training, support, and encouragement provided have allowed me to embrace a mindset where I firmly believe I can achieve all that comes my way. The energy in the environment is almost tangible, resonating with possibilities, as empowered individuals uplift one another.

Initially, life at BlueShore seemed daunting and beyond my capabilities, a sentiment that echoed during my first weeks on the job. Despite successfully entering the professional arena, I found myself intimidated by individuals dedicated to excellence in service, ideas, and conduct. Imposter syndrome took hold, leaving me with a lingering sense of inadequacy, questioning my capabilities, skills, and readiness for tasks and responsibilities. To maintain composure in this new environment, I adopted an action-oriented mindset, convincing myself that I could handle challenges, regardless of complexity or familiarity. The old saying ‘fake it till you make it’ is, in my opinion, terrible advice. Don't lie to yourself; you didn't come this far to be a product of faking who you are. Instead, genuinely believe you can, and you'll find that the majority of the time, you will.

A significant lesson I learned from my time at BlueShore Financial is the importance of being action-oriented. As part of the 'can-do attitude,' I discovered that tackling tasks head-on was key to overcoming challenges. Taking it one day at a time, one task at a time, allowed me to gradually build confidence. My primary focus was making my peers’ lives easier while prioritizing my learning. I quickly learned that the more I helped others in my role, the more information became available to me. It's like a video game, but with real-life actions, results, and consequences. Every time you complete a task, you unlock a new level, gain access to new characters, pick up new skills, and are given new missions. To ensure I am always in the best headspace, I took several actions to maintain a positive and proactive attitude:

  • Taking Initiative

    Instead of letting tasks overwhelm me, I let my curiosity lead the way. By asking questions and wanting to be involved, more often than not, I realized that tasks were not as difficult as I initially believed once I dove in. The deep work state of mind became a powerful tool, allowing me to flow seamlessly through tasks.

  • Passion for Work

    I developed genuine enthusiasm for my work. My eagerness for work stemmed from a desire to prove and challenge myself, demanding the best from myself day in and day out.

  • Self-Rewards

    Finding satisfaction in delivering tasks to my superiors became a source of motivation. Every time my supervisors expressed confidence in my ability to handle a task, I delivered. The dopamine boost from positive feedback and collaboration with team members fueled my pursuit of joy at work.

  • Effective Communication

    Recognizing problem-solving as integral to BlueShore's culture, I actively sought help by asking questions. With 400 colleagues at my disposal, the organization became a network of friends ready to offer guidance and support whenever challenges arose.

  • Authenticity

    Embracing my unique personality became a source of strength. BlueShore's work environment values authenticity, allowing me to be myself at work. This genuine approach attracted positive attention from colleagues and contributed to a supportive atmosphere. The ease of being able to take your real self to work instead of a mere facade of you is peaceful and healthy for the soul.

  • Routine

    Your personal life and your work life have a direct relationship. I have asked individuals at BlueShore who have been part of the workforce for decades about their secret to longevity in career and happiness. A common theme always comes back to being disciplined with your priorities and allocating more time and energy to things that matter most.

  • Mental Clarity

    Blocking out all distractions and disruptions is one of the best decisions I took this year. Optimizing sleep, cleaning my apartment weekly, having proper healthy meals, and putting in a good workout regularly all contribute to removing that mental clutter.

While I am no life coach, listening to others' life experiences, career trajectories, and everyday stories always provides me with valuable perspective. I've come across individuals who have been a part of BlueShore Financial from before I was born. Their stories are a real eye-opener to what life may be like in the future. Speaking volumes on how a positive and welcoming work environment can make your workplace feel like a second home. I love listening to their stories and ideas and feeding off their energy. It makes me grateful and grounded that I have the opportunity to work for an institution that cares not only for its people but also for the general well-being of the community it serves. Experiencing all this as a student feels like getting a sneak peek into the real world, unlocking countless possibilities that await.

Nothing happens overnight, and a can-do attitude is no different. Everything you do in your day-to-day life - in school, at work, in your social life, all adds up to making this ‘can-do attitude’ an integral part of your persona. Of course, this by no means indicates the notion that you blindly say yes to everything that comes your way. Be the judge of things, think rationally, and only then decide if you can take on a task. This attitude is no different from a muscle. And as you can train muscles at the gym, guided by a trainer, you can do the same for a ‘can-do attitude’ at work, in my case, the trainer being BlueShore Financial.


S M Rakibul Islam

SFU Student Undergraduate
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Marketing | Beedie School of Business › Marketing

Bulla is a fourth year student in the School of Communications with a keen interest in media and marketing. After his first co-op in the tech industry, he has now transitioned into the financial industry as a Marketing and Communications Coordinator. Bulla is a part-time cross fit athlete, and also likes to read, write, and cook in his spare time. Connect with Bulla on LinkedIn.

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Jan 18, 2024

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