RBC International Women’s Day 2013 – Career Snapshots

Christine O’Hare

Christine O’Hare

Director, Product Control
Capital Markets - London


How did you get to be where you are today? Was there a particular person or moment that influenced you?

Determination, drive and dedication. Hard work is necessary along with being open to considering all advice/feedback given to you.

If you were talking to someone who’s never worked in your RBC business group, how would you describe what you do and what you like best about your job?

I am a director in Product Control, which is part of the Capital Markets finance function in London. A typical product controller needs to enjoy dealing with a wide range of people and challenges. The focus needs to always be on control but you also need to be able to adapt to rapidly changing situations positively. Teamwork and collaboration must be within your nature!

What’s been the greatest challenge of your career to date and how did you deal with it?

My ongoing challenge is balancing my work and home life. This can feel like a moving target! In my case my two young children dictate time outside of work, but this balance can change for many reasons, and is not always related to children. I try to keep on top of my short-term goals with an eye to the future as much as possible by seeing them both as two separate but interlinked jobs both requiring some forward planning with contingencies in place. Like any plan there may be changes and you need to be able to adapt.

What advice would you give a younger woman who is at the start of her career?

Be confident in yourself, and do not doubt how far you can go in your chosen field. Understand what success means to you, search out people around you that inspire you and talk to them, ask them for advice. Be prepared to manage your own future and always try to be honest with yourself and those around you.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing instead?

I enjoy playing team sports, and if I had not chosen to pursue a career in banking I think I would have enjoyed teaching physical education or fitness to school children.

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

I love running but unfortunately do not have a lot of spare time to fit it in! I was reviewing the time I had a couple of years ago and thought I could perhaps combine running and my daily commute home. This has worked out perfectly. I can run as often as possible during the week and get to run past some of the most iconic sights in London! The London skyline is a fantastic vista to view while clearing your mind running.

Who has been the most inspiring woman in your own life and why?

I get inspired when I come across any person who is truly suited to and happy with their situation, whether it be in work, home or someone who manages both beautifully. This takes self knowledge and confidence. I have met a number of people over my career who have achieved this and I have always tried to listen to their advice and study how they do it!