When Hannah Stegen sets her mind to something, nothing can stop her from reaching her goal. Maybe “reaching her goal” is putting it mildly; it’s more akin to jumping over her goal and lapping it a few times.

From studying subatomic particle physics at Mount Allison University, to landing a job as a business analyst at Capital One Canada right after graduation, Hannah has already made impressive strides in her career.

“Working at Capital One Canada is more than a job for me, it’s an immersive experience that allows me to challenge myself and the status quo every day,” says Hannah. “My team and the overall culture of support make it easy for me to grow and flourish.”

The atmosphere at the company surprised Hannah when she started working there. Finance has a reputation for being stuffy and formal, but what she found was a lively and casual environment that felt more Silicon Valley than Bay Street. She quips, “there’s nothing like seeing management wearing Converse and superhero t-shirts to make you feel right at home.”

“The core of what makes my position so enjoyable is the people at Capital One,” Hannah adds. “Everyone is extremely engaged, energetic and passionate about what they do and that feeling is really contagious.”

According to Hannah, her journey to a career with Capital One was largely propelled by her volunteer work, highlighted by her involvement with Enactus Canada. Enactus, an organization that operates in 36 countries, supports the work of young entrepreneurial leaders who are passionate about advancing the economic, social and environmental health of their communities.

Enactus organizes four annual challenges for Canadian students every year — one of which, the Capital One Financial Education Challenge, encourages teams of budding student entrepreneurs to impact their communities through financial education. This year’s national final will be held in Vancouver from May 8 to 11 as part of the Enactus Canada National Exposition.

As co-president of the Enactus team at Mount Allison, located in Sackville, New Brunswick, Hannah and her fellow students launched an innovative social enterprise called Textbook Osmosis. The team recognized a need in reducing the number of unwanted and unsellable university textbooks by finding a way to re-use them. The project works with penitentiaries and refugee centers to create financial literacy programs and donates the textbooks to ensure those using them have greater learning opportunities. Textbook Osmosis received a Regional Impact Award at the Halifax regional finals of the 2016 Enactus Capital One Financial Education Challenge.

Hannah’s leadership grew the membership of Mount Allison’s Enactus team from just three to 25 members in a single year. During her time at university, she also took part in a number of extra-curricular initiatives, which included playing on the varsity soccer and basketball teams, president of the physics society, running girls in STEM events for a local high school, and launching and hosting a Women in Science panel at the Atlantic University Physics and Astronomy Conference.

Her success culminated in being recognized with the 2016 Woman Leader of Tomorrow Award at the Enactus National Exposition, where she met the president of Capital One Canada, Shane Holdaway.

“We chatted about how Capital One is a data-driven company and how I had a background with skills that fit well with their values,” Hannah says of her meeting with Holdaway. She thought the company was a great fit for her and flew to Toronto for an interview. Soon after returning home, Hannah was offered a position in the company’s Customer Analytics and Modeling (CAM) department — after a few months of post-grad travel, of course.

Despite being faced with the all too common horror stories of post-grad life, Hannah found a collegial, stimulating and collaborative environment at Capital One, filled with challenging and rewarding work.

“I’m responsible for several models and processes that have a large impact on the overall business, which really makes me feel valued in the company,” Hannah says. “I present results to directors on a consistent basis and I have a say in the overall development and direction of my department.”

But she hasn’t forgotten about where it all started. Hannah recently took over as the Relationship Manager for Capital One Canada’s partnership with Enactus.

She believes Enactus played a pivotal role in honing the skills that have allowed her to excel in her career. “From Enactus, I am able to think outside of the box. [It] teaches you to be fearless in all aspects,” Hannah says.

Hannah has some warm words of encouragement to students across Canada looking to blaze their own trail. “Take advantage of your knowledge and set no limits,” she says. “Learn from every mistake and most importantly, be a social leader.”

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