Samantha Mykes: Your ‘glass-half-full’ underwriter
Name: Samantha Mykes
Role: Underwriter with Bridgewater Bank
Years worked in financial services: 20+
Work location: Calgary, Alberta
Superpower: Approaching each deal with a “glass is half full” attitude
When you talk to underwriters at other banks, does it feel like you’re talking to an old friend? Maybe it should, and when you’re working with Samantha Mykes, it does. In addition to making brokers feel at ease, she brings valuable mortgage lending experience to the table.
Becoming a mortgage underwriter
Q: How did you get into financial services?
Samantha: I was lucky. I made friends with the right person, who was in the industry, and I was able to get an interview with one of the big banks. I worked there for five years as a teller, then in accounts and lending.
I moved to another bank and continued the traditional lending track—all types of lending. I spent a couple of years in internal audit before moving into collections and asset management, where I spent several years.
Q: What’s your favourite part of being an underwriter?
Samantha: I like the relationships I have with brokers across the country. I work with a lot of brokers in Calgary and Ontario. I like to look at a file, recognize the name, and know I can pick up the phone to collaborate on a file. We have many great broker partners who understand how to find solutions that work for their clients and us as an alternative lender.
Alternative lending as a career choice
Q: What is your alternative lending experience?
Samantha: On my career path to mortgage underwriting, the lending side of banking was always where I wanted to be. After I left the big banks, I worked for another alternative lender before landing at Bridgewater Bank.
Q: How does your previous experience help you in this role?
Samantha: I worked for several years in collections and asset management at a traditional bank. This work wasn’t just about repossessing assets. I saw people at a low point in their lives, and I worked with them to find solutions to better their situation. There were options to help them get back on track. I was able to be creative. Now, I get to do the same in the alternative lending space, and I love it.
Q: In the span of your career, what are you most proud of?
Samantha: Being able to say that I really helped people in search of a place to call home with getting approved for a mortgage and getting the security they need.
On a personal note
Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Samantha: I want to go to Alaska—and the east coast of Canada. Oh, and Ireland. Clearly, I just really want to travel.
What’s a skill you’d like to learn and why?
Samantha: I want to learn Spanish because my eldest son is in a bilingual program at school. It would be cool to travel with him. I need to add some Spanish-speaking countries to my travel list.
Q: If we asked your best friend to describe you, what would she say?
Samantha: She would say I’m a diehard friend who would do anything for my true friends…and that I’m a bit goofy.
Bridgewater bank has built an amazing team of BDMs and underwriters that collaborate with its partners and one another. We work hard to build relationships, and brokers will get the same great service working with any one of us. We’re passionate about what we do; it’s part of our TYLF culture to treat you like family—with respect, familiarity, care and good humour. That’s just how we do things.