BY PETRE WILLIAMS-RAYNOR Career & Education editor firstname.lastname@example.org
TAMARA Waul-Douglas recently hit another career milestone after 15 years in banking.
The 37-year-old was appointed branch manager of PanCaribbeanBank, New Kingston earlier this month — the second time in two years that she is being promoted.
On the previous occasion, she was named manager of the Business Priority Unit, charged with, among other things, "supporting the bank's overall strategic plan by soliciting and managing the commercial banking relationship of the targeted market of small and medium-sized enterprises".
Now, as branch manager with some 18 people to supervise, Waul-Douglas' duties include:
* leading the growth of sales targets for the branch;
* leading cost-reduction initiatives;
* supporting the company's overall strategic marketing plan by maintaining, developing and growing client relationships;
* leading the branch in providing excellent customer service to strengthen client relationships;
* leading the team in effectively utilising resources while ensuring that staff moral remains high; and
* leading and coaching existing staff members.
Waul-Douglas, who holds a first degree in history and Spanish from the University of the West Indies, is "excited" at the prospect.
"I am extremely excited about tackling the challenges that lay ahead, not just for myself but [also for] the bank as it continues on it growth path," the banker told Career & Education.
According to Waul-Douglas, she has been working toward the appointment for the duration of her tenure in banking, but notes that the last two years "have been a real stepping stone to this path when I joined the Business Priority Unit".
Meanwhile, she identified a range of factors which she said led to her appointment. They include "the ability to meet and exceed targets, the ability to lead, the ability to work effectively under pressure, ability to negotiate, and excellent people skills".
At the same time, the St Andrew High School old girl, who also has a master's degree in business administration with a major in human resources — her professed passion — said she brings a number of strengths to the new position.
"I am very competitive and driven; I know how to get the job done. I am also very customer-focused, analytical and know how to motivate the team," Waul-Douglas said.
She added that the coming months will see her ordering her priorities to ensure her targets are met.
"With this being the last quarter of our financial year. We have to continue and press on vigorously on our path to ensure that we meet our liabilities and credit target while maintaining our high service level," she said.
Waul-Douglas noted that she is intent on making a difference in the position.
"Every new leader brings their own energy to their team. My first step is to solidify the team as we move forward. 'Stand-out persons' are always great, but a team can move mountains [and] in this case, exceed targets," she said.
Waul-Douglas advises others interested in a promotion to work smart in order to make it happen.
"While working hard is important, it is always more important to work smart. Always stay driven, never letting up on your goals/dreams. At all times, know the work that is needed in getting the job done and just be willing to put in the time," she said.
The married mother of three children, Waul-Douglas has herself done precisely that since getting into banking via a summer job right after university. The first eight years in the sector was spent at Scotiabank as a customer service representative and later as a fraud analyst. She then did five years in investment banking as an assistant manager with Pan Caribbean Financial Services.
Looking back, she is proud of how far she has come.
"I have had the opportunity to learn and grow so much as an individual. I have had great mentors along the way and I have also mentored many. I never want to stop learning and growing and this is one of the reasons why this new position excites me. It's another stop along my journey," she told Career & Education.
She has encouraged young people to follow their dreams without fear of failure.
"I think one of the hardest part of our journey in life is finding out what is our passion. It gets much easier once we can achieve this. Setting goals becomes easier and the game plan is always to stay focused, never letting up, and always checking to see if we are on the right path. If we are not, then we stop, regroup and start again. Life is a never ending circle," she said.