Alana Riley


I was able to practically apply course material into my daily work and leverage this knowledge with strategic thinking, budget and financial analysis, economic awareness and leadership – just to name a few.

My MBA Journey

Alana Riley, Business Leader
Calgary, Alberta

New Year's Resolution....lose 5 lbs and complete an MBA! Little did I know that I would need a fair amount of chocolate to get through this program! I had determined that acquiring a Master of Business Administration was a way to enhance my knowledge and hopefully allow me to continue to seek leadership roles that leveraged this knowledge base. A way to differentiate myself as a candidate for more challenging roles in my future.

I began researching programs and found that the the flexibility of the MBA FS program allowed working professionals to build a schedule that could support success in both facets. I was pleased to learn my Financial Planning courses and designations as well as my undergrad were taken into consideration.

By the time my first course came along I had accepted a role that required a move of 3000 km across Canada. The great news was this did not impact my ability to continue in the program, in fact it highlighted why the flexibility can be so crucial. I viewed this as a journey, one that needed to be balanced with work demands, times during new roles and increased responsibilities, times during which my family needed more focus – the flexibility allowed for all of these things. I also valued the opportunity for my children to see that learning can be a life-long journey. Commitment and hard work lead to success.

I found that by having a base of management experience, I was able to practically apply course material into my daily work and leverage this knowledge with strategic thinking, budget and financial analysis, economic awareness and leadership, just to name a few. I found the professors to be invested in my success. 

That said, the piece of the journey that I value the most is the relationships you build with the other students. With a program geared primarily towards Financial Services we are able to build a deeper connection, sharing best practices, strategies and leveraging the course materials. We have connected in a way to continue to support each other within our business lives even if our corporate colour is red, green or blue! 

So now I have my 2018 New Year's Resolution to prepare. Guitar? Lose 5 lbs? I think my commitment will be to leverage the Leadership fundamentals acquired during this MBA, Investing in Continuous Learning and Improvement, a Change Leader with an Agile Mindset – for my team, my family and myself.

Every day we have an opportunity to learn and grow. Challenge and be challenged. The journey, possibly, is just getting started. 

Alana Riley, MBA

Alana Riley, Regional Director, Western Canada for Scotiabank, Wealth Management, Trust. Passionate about people she leads a team comprising Estate and Trust Professionals focusing on building holistic plans for high net worth clients from Winnipeg to Victoria, as well as leading teams that administer estates and provide custodial services. Prior to this, Vice President, Calgary South, leading a team of 30 direct Managers, Retail Branches, Small Business Bankers, Health Care Team, Calgary Training Centre; 500 Team members managing a $12 billion book.

Alana currently acts as Women in Leadership Chair, Member of the Global Accessibility Committee for Scotiabank and Chair, Lean Advisory Committee, Mount Royal University, Calgary. Alana proudly obtained her MBA from Dalhousie University and holds a BA from the University of Windsor. Avid skier, runner and yogi, Alana enjoys spending time with her husband and three children and can be frequently found at the Scotiabank Saddledome cheering on the Flames.