When international student Santiago Ortiz came to the University of the Fraser Valley on a scholarship, he knew he would encounter new friends and experiences, but he didn’t expect to receive a helping hand from a new resource on campus.
Coming from Colombia, Santiago made many adjustments to life in Canada — including getting a warmer winter wardrobe tans taking classes in computer science and mathematics. Some things came easily, but others remained a mystery, such as how to make sure funds from home landed in his bank account at the right time.
Enter RBC On Campus — an educational centre launched in October 2022 to help students with free one-on-one advice, seminars, and workshops on a range of topics connected to finances, career advice, and wellness promotion.
Santiago received a scholarship and was trying to deposit his cheque, but had trouble navigating his version of the mobile app. “I came to RBC On Campus to figure it out and they were really helpful to me.”
Through countless interactions with students like Santiago, the staff at RBC On Campus recognize there is an increasing desire among students to learn more about managing their money and preparing for life after their degree.
“We want to be a resource for students to learn about finances,” says Harman Rathore, manager of the RBC On Campus team, and also a UFV business admin alumnus. “We want to help students throughout their student journey; whether it’s providing financial literacy, reading resumes, or mock interview preparations, we want to be a part of the UFV community.”
Santiago found relief in RBC’s centre on the Abbotsford campus, “You don’t feel the stress of going to a branch because you’re in your place, in your university. I’ve seen how they help students with talks about financial life, credit, mortgages, loans, and how to be successful in that area of life.”
But RBC isn’t just educating students about personal finances — Harman and his team have provided guest presentations for several UFV business classes. Topics included the ins and outs of business finances, market research methods, and various business structures in Canada. Sessions are often eye-opening for many of the future entrepreneurs in the class.
“It was very helpful, the information,” noted second-year business administration student Lian Schworts. “It’s good to have this knowledge and have some ideas in my toolbox before I actually go out and implement them.”
That combination of approachability and applicable information are precisely what Harman and his colleagues are working to achieve. “We want to be a part of the UFV community. We’re a resource for students to come to pick our brains on finances, or how to prepare for life after graduation, or just hang out with us even!”
You can find the RBC On Campus kiosk staffed by one or two people at the Abbotsford campus in A Building near the academic lounge (near the School for Criminal Justice in the Spirit Bear lounge). They’re available and happy to help Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm. Learn more about RBC On Campus services by visiting https://www.ufv.ca/services/rbc-on-campus/.
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