Stephen Hewitt: Director of Executive Communications, RBC

Written by: Erin Jia

Origins Mag interviews Stephen Hewitt, TD Bank's Senior Manager of Corporate and Public Affairs to chat about his journey to personal success.

Journey - From Idea to Reality 

Stephen Hewitt is a storyteller. As the Senior Manager of Corporate and Public Affairs at TD Bank Group, every day is dynamic. Information is everything - observing, listening, thinking, and writing. What interests him? The way that the consumption of our day to day information shapes the world we live in. 

“I am currently in an area, where instead of promoting products and services, I am promoting the ideas of executives, internally and externally”, says Hewitt. 

Starting off with a history degree, Stephen Hewitt naturally evolved into corporate communications. 

Hewitt explains, “...history is basically telling stories,”  and in his position he tells the stories of all events involving TD, shaping how they are received by the media, customers, stakeholders, and the government. Needless to say, Hewitt’s role is critical to the bank’s public perception.  

Before TD, Hewitt worked  in a consulting firm, where he found his passion for communications work. “Clients would hire me to help them tell their stories to various publics — whether it’s right to the consumer, or to special groups like policy makers or regulators that influence the way that an organization operates.” However, after working with TD as a client, Hewitt fell in love with the culture and eventually made the leap. Today, he’s been working at TD for a decade.

4 Lessons to Build Personal Success 

 A big believer that things will fall into place, Hewitt shared 4 lessons with the Origins team that all millennials should focus on to build their personal success. 

 Lesson #1: Find things that you enjoy. 

 Hewitt stresses that to be successful, you need to find things that you enjoy studying and learning. 

“I’ve done a lot of promoting products and services, I’ve launched computer lines, hotels, supported high-end fashion, and promoted various drugs and pharmaceuticals. But ..I’ve always been most interested in…  ideas.” 

Hewitt explains that when thinking moving to TD, the notion of ‘TD People’ really stuck with him. TD People is based on the spirit of entrepreneurialism, where taking risks is a celebrated.

Lesson #2: Don’t live by a checklist 

 You can’t plan out your life. Hewitt advocates for this statement, expressing that too many people try to pre-plan their lives. The classic get a degree, get a job, get married, and have kids ideology doesn’t work. Nothing is perfect, but every moment is a journey. Hewitt emphasizes that young people just need to let it happen.

“I actually stopped asking questions of, ‘is my life in balance?’ and I’ve moreso started asking questions like ‘what is my purpose?’ My purpose is to find ways to do things better and to make an impact and a difference... Am I fulfilling that?”

Lesson #3: Form thick skin 

 Hewitt advises that in your career, there will be stops and starts - One step forward, two steps back. 

Stating, “...the thing you wrote that you think is the best thing in the world will be given back to you with a lot of red ink that says, ‘it stinks, do over.’” 

However, in the end Hewitt believes that critics make you better and your work would not be the same without them. Take the criticism, but keep moving forward. 

 Lesson #4: Be intellectually curious When Hewitt was in New Mexico a number of years ago, he met a truck driver in Arkansas who changed his perception on intellectual curiosity.

“I was hitchhiking… and I met this guy… he drove a red truck for a living. Naturally I thought I was smarter than him right away but then we started talking and I go - this is the smartest guy in the whole world.” 

The driver’s ideas opened Hewitt to perspectives that he had never imagined. This event changed Hewitt, making him a believer that in order to be intellectually curious, you need to be open and absorb everything around you. The bottom line: Everyone has an Arkansas truck driver in their life that they can learn from. You never know where you’re going to get it. Stephen Hewitt, Origins Mag couldn’t agree with you more.