RBC National Aboriginal Day 2013 – Career Snapshot

Joe Olivier

Joe Olivier

Director, Communication Delivery Gateway – Sales Strategy & Effectiveness
Canadian Banking, Sales, P&CB


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

In my current role, I lead a team responsible for the integration of communication, delivery and gateway of sales and field operations initiatives across all sales roles/teams within Canadian Banking (CB). Working with various business partners, we are responsible for the development, design, communication and delivery of sales and field operations communications and initiatives that support 25,000 employees in our CB network.

My personal background and heritage is Ojibway. I’m status Indian and a member of Fort William First Nation as are my three children, my mother and sisters. Fort William is south of and adjacent to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

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 started my career with RBC in 1995 through a summer internship program. One year later, I graduated from the Asper School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba and started full-time with RBC in 1996. While in university I was a member of the Aboriginal Business Education Program and one of their first graduates. Through that program I was introduced to RBC.

I have a number of defining moments in my career so far.

Royal Eagles was one of the first employee resource groups established at RBC to connect employees who are interested in building awareness and learning more about Canada’s Aboriginal cultures and communities. How has being part of an employee resource group impacted your experience at RBC?

My relationship with Royal Eagles started about 10 years ago and I was an active mentor to several Aboriginal employees, which was my first mentoring experience. Today, I participate in Diversity Dialogues (a reciprocal mentoring program at RBC) and continue as an active mentor as well.

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?

My personal connection to the Aboriginal community is obviously through my family. My mom, Doris Cyrette, is an Aboriginal artist and has always encouraged us to stay connected with our heritage. I have a very humble background given my family’s upbringing. My mom was raised by her grandmother. She grew up in Fort William and I still have a lot of family who live there. My mom didn’t have much as a child, nor did I, so my wife and I try as best we can to remind our children of how privileged they are. As a result, I try to remain as grounded as I can and trust me if I get out of line, my mom points me in the right direction!

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

I’ve been very fortunate in my career so far with RBC. I’ve held a number of really great roles. Some keys to success and principles so far are:

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

My advice would be to follow your dreams. Be ambitious. Set the bar high in your career ambitions. RBC has so much to offer and is such a great employer that your dreams and ambitions can likely be achieved within RBC.

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

I really enjoy golfing and going to the gym. Over the last few years I’ve taken a liking to running and recently qualified and then completed the Boston marathon in 2 hours and 59 minutes – one of my most significant personal accomplishments.