What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
Be collaborative, not competitive. I
believe it’s healthy to compete with
yourself to do better and achieve more
than what you’ve done in the past.
However, in my career what I’ve found
to be the most beneficial is being
collaborative with my colleagues and
peers. I’ve always learned more by
asking questions and being open to
diverse opinions, as it can provide me
much needed perspective on a subject
matter that would be difficult otherwise. It also helps you to perform better at your job and propel you further
in your career as opposed to always
trying to do it by yourself.
What do you know now that you wish you
knew in the beginning of your career?
I wish I spoke up more! I made the mis-
take earlier in my career of thinking
open to having good career conversa-
tions over a cup of coffee.
What do you think the industry could
do to attract and retain the best and
the brightest today?
One way to continue to attract and
retain talent in our industry is to create a sense of community and impact
for the people who work in it. Many of
the best and brightest are motivated
self-starters that seize opportunities
where none appear readily available
and tend to thrive in an environment
where they can take risks on executing
new ideas. It’s important to cultivate
that type of community and keep it in
mind when hiring talent. Additionally,
when organizations and the industry
acknowledge these achievements,
it creates value for the individual to
know that what they are doing actually matters. A reward does not always
have to be monetary to create impact
and lasting value for the best and
brightest to remain motivated and
I was too junior and that my opinion
probably did not matter. However,
the reality was that many times there
were others who would speak up and
voice the very opinions that I was
thinking internally. I believe senior
leaders are always on the lookout
for fresh perspectives that all of us
can bring to the table. Don’t be afraid
to share your ideas; you never know
where it may lead.
What kind of role has mentoring and/
or sponsorship played in your career?
My mentors have played an instrumental role in my career by offering
their objective opinion when I’ve been
at pivotal decision-making points. I’ve
found the best mentors I’ve had were
relationships that formed organically.
These were men and women that I
looked up to and I was proactive in
reaching out to them to hear their
career stories and they were open to
helping me and see how their experiences could apply to my own career.
Their insights and experiences have
been invaluable to me and I appreciate
the friendships that have developed
as a result. On the other side of the
spectrum, I think it’s great when junior
colleagues reach out and I’m always
Vice President, Retail Business
Development and Senior
BMO Harris Bank
abrina Singh, based in Chicago IL, joined BMO Harris Bank’s Asset-Based
Lending group in 2014 and is responsible for sourcing, structuring and
executing asset-based lending transactions nationally for retailers in
the apparel, department stores, auto parts, beauty, sporting good and
other retail spaces. Prior to BMO Harris Bank, Sabrina was with Citizen’s
Bank (formerly RBS Citizens) as an underwriter and portfolio manager in the Commer-
cial Bank and in the Asset Finance Group working on secured lending transactions
for both middle-market and large corporate clients in diversified industries. She also
spent some time underwriting leveraged loans for private equity sponsors at Orchard
First Source Capital. Originally from Canada, Sabrina started her career in Toronto at
RBC Capital Markets, working in Corporate Banking on large institutional cash flow
transactions. Sabrina graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of
Commerce in Finance and Economics and received her MBA from McMaster Univer-
sity. Sabrina chairs the Women’s Initiative for Networking and Success (W.I.N.S.) com-
mittee for BMO Harris Bank and is a member of the Commercial Finance Association.
She resides in Arlington Heights, IL with her husband and two children.