Challenge to Change | BCom launches a career in global finance

Can Poge’s desire to study abroad brought him from Istanbul to UBC Sauder where he built the foundation for a career in London’s fast-paced finance district.


Can Poge grew up surrounded by international students. He was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, but attended an international school from elementary through high school.

“Going to school with friends from many different countries opened my eyes to what the world was like outside Turkey,” he says.

Their international perspectives inspired in Poge a desire to attend university abroad.


Initially Poge was contemplating school in the UK or the United States, but it was a little bit of serendipity and a full scholarship through UBC’s International Scholars Program that brought him to Vancouver.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking because I had never set foot in North America before,” he says. “Istanbul and Vancouver are polar opposites in many ways – I moved from a city of tens of millions of people to a city of around one million. Vancouver is picturesque, with the mountains and ocean. It’s also very calm and quiet compared to what I was used to.”

Suddenly Poge, who had always been a local amongst international students, was an international student himself. He joined UBC’s International Student Association where he quickly took on a leadership role and got a part-time job as a student ambassador, giving campus tours to prospective students and their families.

“UBC helped me get acclimatized to Canadian culture,” he says. “And then I was able to help other students make the same transition.”

Can Poge quote


At UBC Sauder, where Poge pursued a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), he was among the first cohort to take an Introduction to Capital Markets, a class that illuminated a niche area of finance through challenging course work and compelling guest lecturers.

“Immediately I thought ‘This aligns with my future goals, this is what I want to pursue,’” he says.

On top of his full course load and part-time job, Poge was one of eight students invited to take part in the Portfolio Management Foundation (PMF), a demanding extracurricular venture in which students manage a pool of funds worth millions of dollars under the mentorship of UBC Sauder faculty and finance professionals.

“PMF was an unparalleled experience,” Poge says. “The opportunity to get that caliber of mentorship gave me a unique perspective on finance.”


After completing two internships – one with RBC Royal Bank and the other with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Toronto – Poge is now with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London.

“I love how dynamic this industry is,” Poge says. “The financial markets change not just day to day, but hour to hour based on real world events and real world data. Whether you’re the new guy on the floor or one who’s been there ten years, you’re never done learning.

“The experience I got at UBC Sauder set me up to succeed in this industry.”


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