Associate Director, Raintree Financial Solutions

Submitted by Melissa Wilk

Brendan DziobaOnly a week after graduating from Augustana with a bachelor of management in business economics, Mackenze Orr started as an analyst in the Corporate Finance division of Raintree Financial Solutions.

During Augustana's management internship program, Mackenze had the opportunity to explore career options and build connections. "I worked with Farm Credit Canada and I was there until I graduated. They offered me a position, but I knew that it wasn't exactly what I wanted to pursue. I got a better scope of my interests from that placement and knew I wanted to do investment banking."

However, it was the senior director of Farm Credit Canada who introduced Mackenze to someone who was a "big deal" in the Toronto banking world. "I talked to him and he pointed me to a few different firms in Edmonton and so I got my foot in the door with Raintree, but I still had to go through the rigorous interview process."

After successfully completing a stock assignment as part of the hiring process, with the support of some of his professors, Mackenze was offered a position at Raintree.

"I was able to leverage resources at Augustana, using the networking that came only through the program and professors. I was fortunate, but I also had to take advantage of the opportunity and pick up the phone and call that person in Toronto."

Mackenze is now the associate director of the Corporate Finance division at Raintree and is currently pursuing a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. As a company that promotes societal change by helping clients discover responsible and proactive investments, Raintree requires a breadth of knowledge and understanding that spans multiple fields. Mackenze feels his success at Raintree is partly due to the tools he gained during his studies at Augustana.

"The thing I want to express is that you have so much opportunity on campus and different pathways. You have to take advantage of professors, different programs, extracurriculars," says Mackenze. "All of these help line you up with opportunities that if I didn't take advantage of, I wouldn't be where I am today."

Mackenze says it was the collective experience of being at Augustana-where he was involved as not only a business student, but as a member of the choir, the India trip and environmental courses-that helped shape his career goals.

"Through all those experiences, I knew I wanted to be challenged every single day, I wanted to see something different, I wanted to explore perspectives and experiences I've had and put them into a real-world practice," says Mackenze.

Investment banking was a pathway for Mackenze to meet all of these goals.

"I'm seeing different business ideas every day. I get to be someone that can help create change by turning the 'money taps' on for investments that I think would do good in society or things that I think will help to create value or promote change," says Mackenze.

Mackenze says Augustana offered him a mindset that helps him navigate his own course rather than directing him on a single path.

"Opportunities don't just pop up, you have to put in the work," says Mackenze. "The best advice I got was from Professor Kristen Cumming, who said 'if not now, then when are you going to take yourself and your career seriously?'"