Salma Chiko

Business Analytics Lead Associate

<p></p><p>Salma Chiko</p>


What attracted you to Key, and why did you ultimately decide to intern for us?

I view KeyBank as a forward-thinking organization. Key is a leader in technology and finance, which are two of my top career interests. More importantly, KeyBank values me for my diversity. I was born and currently reside in America but was raised overseas. My family and background are international, and it mattered to me to be in an industry that can translate to other cultures and a company that appreciates my unique perspective.

Do you feel Key lives up to its promise of building a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture?

Diversity is at the forefront of Key's culture. Instilling diversity and inclusion isn't easy. It requires courageous conversations and action plans. Key educates and engages employees on diversity topics -- always adapting new techniques and welcoming diverse opinions. At Key, I feel recognized for being bilingual and multicultural. When I tell my story, my colleagues are interested in and ask more in-depth questions. I've been given many opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

Why did you decide to stay with Key beyond the intern program?

What I like most about Key is the culture and the connections I've formed with co-workers. My manager makes me feel welcomed, and Key's culture is enriching. During my internship, I've learned so much that it enticed me to pursue a full-time job with Key to learn beyond the internship program.

Key places a lot of emphasis on the importance of work-life balance in a way that is distinguished from other organizations. I have friends from college who are overwhelmed in their jobs. I feel more balanced at Key than I did in school. I have weekly and monthly meetings with managers, and they are always evaluating my workload and adjusting accordingly. They frequently check in on me and make sure I have what I need to be successful and that I'm comfortable and tracking towards my deadlines.

What did you learn from your internship?

My internship was amazing. I was part of the Center of Excellence for Robotics Process Automation. Of course, I learned a lot about technology, but the intern and analyst programs have helped me expand my knowledge beyond engineering. Working in different areas helps you learn about the bank and puts you in a position to see the technology from different angles. In school, you have a project, and then you are done. Through Key's intern and analyst program, I have been involved in various capacities of continuous delivery and have witnessed many different user interactions over time. This experience really helped me get clarity on what I enjoy most. I built professionalism and got a taste of life after college and what type of professional life suits me. It gave me the confidence to walk my path in stride instead of wandering aimlessly.

There are three things that Key does that took my learning to the next level:

  1. They assign interns a mentor, which gives young professionals an opportunity to ask questions they might not be comfortable discussing with a manager. Now, as an Analyst, I get to mentor incoming interns. It's a very enriching experience.
  2. They host a speaking series for interns where different senior leaders discuss the work they do and the different career paths they've taken. I learned so much from how their teams are structured and the work they do.
  3. There are opportunities to shadow, to gauge interests beyond core intern functions for those who want to take advantage of this. Key associates are so willing to help and let you shadow their work.

Do you have any advice to share with incoming interns?

Authenticity is valued at Key. Be yourself. However, be open to exploring as there are many areas in technology and cybersecurity at Key. Define your professional interests through shadowing different groups. Also, you are assigned a mentor for a reason. You should feel comfortable reaching out for help and guidance.

It's not just about tech experience – volunteer for different enrichment events Key hosts. Key is very committed to people and communities and getting involved has exposed me to different management styles. It has taught me to adapt to change quickly and understand different leadership styles.

Key is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.