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Alejandra Sarmiento

Sr. Manager Loyalty Programs, Scotiabank


EMBA 2017, Ivey Business School

Describe the role you play professionally.

I manage the multi-product customer loyalty program for Scotiabank International Banking. On my daily interactions, I deal with partners in twenty-two countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Currently we are working on significant enhancements to the program to make it a fully automated and seamless customer experience. I sit at the intersection between business and technology, where strategic influencing is an essential skill — what has made me successful is my ability to articulate business needs and get technology’s department buy in.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging aspect of my job is the complexity of managing remote cross functional teams. These teams comprise areas such as Products, Distribution Channels, Customer Experience, HR, and IT.  Grasping cultural and market nuances and partnering with senior leaders located in other countries is imperative for me to excel.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

I inherited a legacy loyalty program that was inactive; I revitalized it and engaged my business partners to support and actively promote its use. It was so successful that we increased 2 Billion in customer balances, the highest results achieved over the previous 5 years.

Additional Information

What books are on your bedside table right now?

The full collection of Little Miss Sunshine (I have two little girls; 6 and 4 years old), Harry Potter, and La Noche de los Alfileres (a Peruvian award-winning novel).

How do you manage stress (i.e. sports, exercise, meditation)?

Working out and spending time with my husband and two kids.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned at Ivey?

The importance of relying on others to accomplish greater things. Trust in your team!

What’s been the most surprising aspect of the Executive MBA journey to date?

Realizing I can stretch myself to new limits.