Working at BMO Harris Bank
Is BMO Harris Right for You?
BMO HarrisSM is committed to creating a great customer experience. And that starts with making sure that BMO Harris is an exciting and innovative place to work. Employees enjoy a challenging and collaborative work environment that nurtures teamwork and encourages success.
|Take Pride||In what we do and where we work|
|Keep Your Word||Never waver from our commitments to our customers and each other|
|Embrace Diversity||Gain Strength through our people and our perspectives|
|Do the Right Thing||Demonstrate respect for all and earn trust through integrity of our actions|
|Have the Courage to Win||Focus on what makes us successful|
We stand behind our employees in a number of important ways. Here's what you can expect from a career at BMO Harris Bank
Rewards and recognition that drive differentiated performance
- Attire: All employees represent BMO Harris. Branch roles dress in business attire. Head office employees dress in both business attire and business casual.
- Hours: Employees generally enjoy regular work hours. Some branches and business groups have extended hours, while customer contact centers require shift work, including evenings and weekend. In many groups opportunities for flexibility in work hours, as well as non-standard hours are also available.
Industry Awards & Recognition
BMO Harris Bank has been recognized time and again as a top company – for customers and employees. These achievements are the result of the efforts of our employees, their dedication and commitment.
BMO Harris Bank in the Community
BMO Harris and its employees have a long history of supporting and enhancing the communities in which we live and work.
To learn about what BMO Harris is doing in the community, please visit our Community Affairs site.See what current employees have to say about working at BMO
Every employee has a story to tell. Read more to see what some of our employees are saying about their career paths and their experiences working for BMO Harris BankSM and BMO®Financial Group.
"Each day is different and I love that."
"After 5 years, this role continues to keep me interested and challenged."
Residential Mortgage Specialist (Mortgage Loan Originator), BMO Harris
"I've always had the opportunity to do something different; all I've ever need to do is speak up and say I'm interested."
Associate, BMO Capital Markets® and Bank-Wide Student Training Program Graduate
"My role is very rewarding because a lot of my deliverables are end-to-end, so I can see the results of my work and really feel a sense of accomplishment."
Coordinator, Human Resources, BMO Harris and Bank-Wide Student Training Program Graduate
Current Role:Sr. Relationship Manager, Mid-Market, BMO Harris
Location:Burr Ridge, IL
I joined the bank in 1998, through a relationship management development program that BMO Harris offered. This nine-month intake program provided me with the basic knowledge I would need as an analyst for Commercial Banking. After completing the program, I spent six and a half years working in one of BMO Harris' specialty lending teams focused on the Food and Agribusiness industry, first as an analyst and then as a Relationship Manager.
Although I was still being challenged and was interested in this industry specialty, the Food and Agribusiness group was moving more and more toward serving larger clients. I decided that I wanted to try something new that would use the skills I had built, while providing more opportunities for me to work one-on-one with clients, which I felt was my strength. At that time in my life, family and work-life balance were also becoming more important to me, so I was looking for a role that would involve less travel.
One of my colleagues had recently moved to Commercial Mid-Market, and I wondered if a similar move might be right for me. To find out more, I reached out to one of the Mid-Market group's executives, who helped me better understand what the group was about and whether I would enjoy the work. It seemed like a great fit, so when a job posting opened up in the area where I lived, I applied.
In my current role as a Senior Relationship Manager, the most rewarding part of what I do is the interaction I have with my customers. I thrive on building relationships with customers, understanding their business, and helping them get their business to where they want it to go. I enjoy the face-to-face interaction and problem solving – each day is different and I love that.
One thing that can be challenging in this role is working to develop new business. You have to work at it, including picking up the phone to make cold calls which can sometimes be difficult. When that work leads to a new customer though, it's definitely worthwhile.
I think this role is ideal for someone who has a mix of analytical, credit and customer communication skills. Communication is key – you need to really be able to listen to the customer and understand what they need. By working as an Analyst first, you can practice these skills so you're better prepared for success in a Relationship Manager role down the road.
I've been at BMO Harris for 10 years now and I have never thought about changing companies. I stay with BMO Harris because I've always felt there are more opportunities to be challenged here. Of course, opportunities can only benefit you if you take the initiative to act on them – one of the biggest lessons I've learned is that it's important to take control of your own career!
Residential Mortgage Specialist (Mortgage Loan Originator), BMO Harris
With a B.S. in Education, my plan was to be a teacher; I hadn't considered banking – I'm glad I did.
TI met someone in the mortgage industry who told me about what they did, and I thought it might be a good fit with my math background so I decided to give it a try. I found that in addition to the numbers side of the business, I really enjoyed working with people and helping them get into homes. After two years in mortgage sales I moved to the credit side, where I spent eight years learning about the products that mortgage companies use.
Through my credit role, I came into contact with BMO Harris and was invited to apply for a Mortgage Loan Originator position. I was drawn to BMO Harris by the strong name it has in this market – brand recognition goes a long way in the mortgage business. I also had first-hand experience with Harris as a customer and had always been treated well. I knew that Harris would be there for its customers even when markets get difficult.
I've been a Mortgage Loan Originator for about five years now and one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is the opportunity to work with first-time homebuyers. It is incredibly satisfying to see their excitement when they close on their first home – especially when they didn't think it would be possible and I was able to help make it happen. I love being able to help customers.
The real estate market is constantly changing with new rules and regulations. The pace of change can be a bit scary, especially if you're new to the job or the industry and are still learning the products. That's why I've been so impressed by the way Harris supports its sales team. For example, I remember my manager sending me referrals to help me build my business, when I was new in my role. Because the managers go above and beyond, I feel as though I'm part of a team where people really want each other to move forward.
To enjoy this role and to be successful at it, it's essential to be knowledgeable about your products as customers rely on you for advice. You also need good people skills – like patience and honesty, especially when you have to decline a customer's loan. Success in this business means getting repeat calls from clients, so the ability to form and maintain good client relationships is essential. With experience, you can learn how to suggest alternative products or solutions; but you need the basic ability to deal with people from day one.
After five years, this role continues to keep me interested and challenged while allowing me to balance the needs of my young family. In the future, I may like to explore business development, building new relationships outside the Bank. Or I may return to my first love and integrate teaching into my career by helping to train new Originators.
Associate, BMO Capital Markets® and Bank-Wide Student Training Program Graduate
I started as a summer student in BMO Financial Group's Bank-Wide Student Training Program in 2005, working in the Risk Management area. I took that internship as an opportunity to explore the Bank and meet people in the areas I was considering for my career. When I graduated with my Engineering and MBA degrees in 2006, I changed business groups and joined the Bank full-time as an Analyst on the trading floor in Toronto. I worked in the Interest Rate Derivatives group, which involves talking directly to clients about products that will reduce their exposure to changes in interest rates. Since October 2008, I have been working in the Chicago office, in the same group but with a U.S. client base.
The Bank's people, corporate culture and atmosphere are what kept me here after I graduated. I've always had the opportunity to do something different; all I've ever needed to do is speak up and say I'm interested. My managers have provided me with great advice on next steps I could take, and have looked out for possible opportunities for me.
I also really enjoy the dynamic nature of my job. There is no monotony, because every case is different. I learn new things with every new customer. I've been able to work in both Canada and U.S. markets, which has been a great experience.
In this job, you need an open mind, a drive to always want to learn new things, and an understanding of how financial systems work at a high level. My technical background in math and finance has been useful, but the soft skills are equally important. Being able to talk to customers is essential – you can't be shy in this job!
At the end of the day, our customers want to successfully run their businesses. It's my job to understand what products and services we're offering to help them do just that. I know I've succeeded when customers leave knowing what I've suggested will add value to their company.
It's essential for students to know what they want and conduct thorough research; that will make it easier for managers and mentors to help you. I spent a lot of time doing my own research and talking to people in the jobs I wanted to find more about and what the atmosphere was like. Your success can depend upon how well you fit into any business group's culture.
It's also important to take the initiative and talk to people. I saw the conversations I had when I was looking to explore new areas of the Bank as opportunities to demonstrate my skills and knowledge, and convince people that I was a good fit for their group.
In this area of the Bank, there are two ways to advance your career: by taking on larger accounts, and by moving to a similar role in a different product group. I'm still in the learning stage of my career, and I'm still new to the role, so my focus right now is to excel in this job. I'm also interested in learning more about the difference between the Canadian and American markets and how they influence each other. I get a lot of exposure to other groups, and I'm looking forward to continuing to learn more about other parts of the Bank!
Coordinator, Human Resources, BMO HarrisSM and Bank-Wide Student Training Program Graduate
I've been at BMO Harris for about five years now, including my time during school for my undergraduate and Masters degrees in Personnel and Human Resources Development. I started out as a summer Project Intern and was then offered a summer role in BMO Financial Group's Bank-Wide Student Training Program in an HR role supporting the Technology group in 2006.
I knew I wanted to work in Human Resources, and asked my manager if I could stay on in a part-time role during the fall. When a full-time position became available within my current group that December, I was offered the role because of my successful summer work terms and part-time experience.
My role has a lot of variety and I'm exposed to all of BMO Harris' lines of business, which is a great learning experience. I have input on which projects I work on, so I'm always doing something different and interesting. This has helped me steer my career where I want it to go.
My role is very rewarding because a lot of my deliverables are end-to-end, so I can see the results of my work and really feel a sense of accomplishment in seeing my ideas come to fruition. For example, one of my most recent projects was designing and implementing an employee recognition program that is now used across BMO Harris Community Banking, our retail and business operations. It's a good balance between day-to-day and long-term work.
Communication skills and professionalism are the two most important attributes to have in this job. It's important to know how to carry yourself and present your ideas, particularly for students or new graduates who are new to the workforce. I've also learned the importance of networking in order to make contacts and find out about new opportunities. Informational interviews are a great way to do this, and I've been fortunate to have managers who have introduced me to people for this purpose. These interviews also give you the chance to show what you know, what you've done, and what you're interested in. I'm now working for two of the people I met with in my last role, and I know I'll continue networking as I progress in my career!
Webinars and lunch and learns, many of which are cost free, are a great way to learn new things and learn about the organization. I've also joined professional organizations, like the Society for Human Resources Management, in order to network outside of the bank and participate in their training opportunities.
As far as formal programs, I found BMO's Bank-Wide Student Training Program really helpful because it's a very structured intern program. I really enjoyed being able to meet and network with the other students across the Bank at our orientation and other activities. Many are working here full-time now and I am still in touch with them.
My short term goal is to continue to develop my skills by taking on different and challenging projects in Human Resources. My managers are very open to me undertaking special projects or job shadowing in other groups, such as BMO's Institute for Learning. In the future, I might consider moving into a more generalist role, or doing work in recruiting, benefits, or succession planning for a specific group. For now, I'm going to keep expanding my network and learning new things in my current role!
BMO Harris BankSM is committed to an inclusive, equitable and accessible workplace, and this commitment to diversity unleashes enormous benefits for our customers, shareholders and employees. We recognize that our different perspectives inspire innovation and contribute to our collective knowledge. Our diverse workforce mirrors the communities in which we do business and helps us understand our customers' needs. We understand that our success is built on the relationships we have with our customers and that our diversity inspires innovation and contributes to our collective knowledge. We hold something extremely valuable in our hands – our customers' best interests.
We recognize that our success as a financial services leader is built on and driven by the unique talents, skills and experiences that each employee brings to our organization. In our view, diversity of perspectives leads to robust decision-making, creative ideas and innovative solutions. We value your perspective.
This commitment to diversity is central to the way we work together and with our customers, and is reflected in the following statement from Our Values: "Embrace Diversity - Gain strength through our people and our perspectives."
BMO Harris Bank is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer committed to providing a workplace free of discrimination or harassment where employees have an equal opportunity to utilize and develop their skills and ambitions. BMO Harris Bank complies with federal, state and local non-discrimination laws to ensure that all terms and conditions of employment are without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, age, military status, disability or any other status protected by law.
If, because of a medical condition or disability, you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the nature of your request and your contact information.
Putting diversity, equity and inclusion into practice
BMO Harris is a member of BMO® Financial Group, whose most senior executives are members of the CEO's Council on the Equitable Workplace. They review the progress made towards achieving our diversity and inclusion goals which are aligned to our business strategies. A key goal of the Council is to ensure a workplace where each employee can bring their full potential to being a true advocate for the customer.
The CEO's Council is supported by Diversity Councils (within business groups) and Affinity Groups (cross-enterprise groups which focus on a particular community). Employees within BMO Harris and from across BMO Financial Group are actively involved in increasing awareness and advocacy for diversity and inclusion.
- 12 Diversity Councils
- Affinity Groups:
- AACE (Asian American Coalition of Employees)
- AALPs (African American League of Professionals) Chicago and New York
- BMO Harris Latino Alliance
- Lions Pride (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Affinity Group)
Our customers demand solid advice, clear solutions and timely delivery. To deliver this, we attract, recruit, and retain diverse talent from the broadest pool of candidates. Here are some examples of how we can help you join BMO Harris:
- We offer a variety of internship and intake programs for students and new graduates. Please visit the Students and Recent Graduates section of this site to learn about opportunities in BMO Harris and other areas of BMO Financial Group.
- We are proud to sponsor and participate in local Career Fairs and Conferences such as the:
- Wall Street Diversity Career Fair
- Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Career Fair
- Spanish Coalition for Jobs Commercial Banking U.S. Annual Career Fair, and
- HACE Chicago Career Fair
- Hiring our Heroes
At BMO Harris, we work deliberately at creating an inclusive environment which enables people to do their best. From flexible work arrangements to technology accessibility support – we have policies, programs and practices designed to build an open and supportive workplace. We welcome individuals who understand the power of different perspectives – and who are eager to deliver the best ideas and financial solutions for our customers.
Commitment to Learning
BMO Harris BankSM is committed to fostering an environment that nurtures professional development and growth. Through on-the-job experience, The Institute for Learning and our Tuition Refund Program you'll gain the learning and knowledge you need to move your career in the right direction.
The Institute for Learning is BMO Financial Group's corporate university with multiple campuses in Toronto, Montreal, Mississauga, Chicago and Milwaukee. Classroom-based and eLearning options enable employees to develop the knowledge and skills to achieve their goals.
Tuition reimbursement is available to individual employees who want to continue learning at the college and/or university level. Master's degrees and industry certification are typical examples of refundable expenses, subject to approval.
BMO Harris fosters a workplace that promotes sharing of information, learning and innovative thinking when it comes to creating consistently superior customer experiences.
Training Programs within BMO Financial Group's different Business Groups provide employees with the tools and resources to excel. Check out our Business Group pages to find out about their specific training programs: