RBC National Aboriginal Day 2013 – Career Snapshot

Aaron Martyniw

Aaron Martyniw

Vice President of Commercial Financial Services – Saskatchewan North
Manitoba/Saskatchewan/North Western Ontario Region, P&CB


Tell us about your current role and where you’re from (heritage).

I am currently the Vice President for the Saskatchewan North Commercial Team comprising of 10 Commercial Account Managers. I was raised in Selkirk, Manitoba and I am a Peguis First Nation band member.

Can you tell us a little about some of the jobs you’ve had with RBC, the journey you’ve taken in your career and if there was any critical moves or defining moments that need to be highlighted.

I joined the bank as an intern through the Aboriginal Business Education Program at the University of Manitoba. My first role in Commercial Banking was in Melita, Manitoba as an Agriculture Specialist. I knew nothing about Agriculture, but I was eager to learn and open to new challenges. The experience proved to be both rewarding from a career and personal perspective.

Do have a personal connection to the Aboriginal community? Can you talk a little bit about your background and how your experiences growing up have influenced you in your career at RBC?

I grew up off reserve in a small town, which presented me with both opportunities and challenges. Stereotypes and generalizations can really impact and influence Aboriginal youth. However I was blessed with a mother and father that promoted my Aboriginal heritage and encouraged me to take pride in it. RBC offers this same encouragement for diversity. And it is this commitment that created the Aboriginal Specialization in Commercial Banking. That role allowed me to contribute back to the Aboriginal community and was one of my most rewarding positions at RBC.

What has contributed to your success and what key principles have you used to build your career?

I have been very fortunate to have had some amazing colleagues, mentors and coaches. Along with mobility, I would say my desire to learn and a focus on self improvement have created the opportunities that have come my way. We have some amazing people working for RBC. Take the opportunity to learn from them and absorb as much as you can. They above all, have helped me get to where I am today.

What advice do you have for employees looking to grow their careers at RBC?

Some of the best advice I ever received was to forget about level and focus on the experience and learnings that come with new roles. Your willingness to take on new challenges, irrespective of level/promotion, will be your greatest asset in growing your career over the long term. Don't be scared to take positions for the purpose of trying or learning something new, it might turn out to be your passion!

Today is National Aboriginal Day. How will you be celebrating?

My plan is to take my wife and daughter to some local celebrations. My daughter is two years old and I want to start introducing her to our culture and community in a more meaningful way.

Aside from spending time with family and friends, what’s your favourite thing to do when you have time to yourself?

Without question it would be running. I call it my therapy! Lately it's been difficult finding the time, but it's still a great way to unwind and a fantastic stress reliever. I've also found it to be a great time to think, whether it's about work or other matters. A nice long run makes me feel good both mentally and physically.