The banking industry offers a wide variety of rewarding career opportunities, whether someone is looking to enter the workforce for the first time or to advance their current career. Customers may identify with tellers or loan officers as the face of the bank, but as we will see, there are so many more employment options available in banking!
Tracy B (00:08):
Welcome to the Feeling is Mutual podcast. I'm your host Tracy Becher, vice President of Marketing at First Federal Savings Bank. We are a community bank with a mutual charter. If you thought banking was boring, the feeling is mutual. But we're here to take the boring out of banking. In this podcast, we will bring our listeners real life stories and education on financial topics and it's all going to be delivered in a quick, fun, and interesting format. It's graduation time. It's hard to believe that we are creeping up on almost the beginning of June and with all of our graduates. What a perfect time to be talking about graduation and careers. I am so honored to have our human resource team here, Carol Harris and Ashley McCullough with us. Hello ladies.
Carol H (01:12):
Hello. Thanks for having
Tracy B (01:13):
Us. Hi. So today we are going to talk about graduation and what's on the minds of most graduates
Carol H (01:20):
Jobs. Hopefully <laugh>.
Tracy B (01:22):
Exactly. And my parents can't pay for everything anymore, so because it's now time for me to enter the workforce. Right, right, exactly. I know myself, and I'll ask you guys as well. I am going on my 32nd year in banking. My degree was actually in fashion merchandising and this was a temporary gig for me and I never thought I would be here for 32 years. I love it. I never considered myself a banker in the opportunities are endless. Ashley, how about you? Yes,
Carol H (01:58):
I agree. Oh, congratulations on 32 years. I know. That's an awesome accomplishment.
Tracy B (02:03):
It's a long time. It was just a part-time gig and here I am <laugh>. So,
Carol H (02:07):
And that's funny you said fashion merchandising because my degree's actually in restaurant management. Oh my gosh. And although there was a lot of business entailed in that, obviously this isn't a restaurant. So,
Tracy B (02:17):
But anyway, let's get down to the nuts and bolts of our discussion today. And with all of the different careers out there, everyone's trying to find their place. Carol, tell us a little bit about the banking career and what it is like to work for
Carol H (02:32):
A bank. You know, that's funny trace because it sounds like a super easy question and after 25 years of being at a bank, it, that should be an easy question to answer. I think it is an office setting. It's professional. Um, customer service. It's a service industry. So the bottom line for any job at the bank is the customer. That's our number one responsibility. If it's a front facing position or more administrative or back office. Ashley, what would you add to that?
Ashley M (03:01):
Uh, you might be surprised to learn that banks aren't as stuffy as one may. Oh, I like
Tracy B (03:05):
That. Yes. No, we're not stuffy. Think we are not stuffy people.
Ashley M (03:09):
<laugh>, we have casual days and community events, electronic services and fun marketing, TikTok. Anyone, banks today are keeping up with the trends. So I think we're pretty,
Tracy B (03:20):
I think we're pretty edgy too. Yeah, I think we are very pretty edgy.
Carol H (03:24):
I mean this podcast pretty trendy.
Tracy B (03:26):
You know what, sometimes people don't really think of themselves as a banker. Do I need any special skills or education to work at a bank?
Carol H (03:37):
Great question. So I would say for most banking jobs, a minimum education would be a high school diploma. Although we have high school students that work for us in a co-op program, maybe they're
Tracy B (03:49):
Doing it. We do have quite a bit at in like internship programs that we work with.
Carol H (03:53):
Right. Maybe they're doing summer work, but for a career, I would say a high school education to start. Then there'd be some jobs in the bank that would need a more specific degree. So for example, a controller or a CFO of a bank would need an accounting degree. Right. Most likely. So depending on the position in the bank is going to depend on the level of education.
Tracy B (04:16):
I think it's important to note that if you start in the ground floor, there is so much training and opportunity here that you can work your way up
Carol H (04:25):
Tracy B (04:27):
I think that's one thing that I love about the bank is that we are always open to rooming people and bringing them up and giving them the skills and talents that may enhance their ability to move forward. So I think that's typically something that candidates should look for when they're
Carol H (04:46):
Tracy B (04:47):
Carol H (04:48):
Yeah. So on the job training length of time at the bank, definitely career development is a possibility for anyone. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, no matter their education level to your point of what other skills are needed. Great customer service skills and a positive attitude. I think when Ashley and I are interviewing, we look at what that person naturally has because a lot of times we can train for the job, but
Tracy B (05:10):
You can't train the characteristic. You can't train someone how to be friendly. Right.
Carol H (05:15):
Tracy B (05:16):
Oh, and I do think that those are important skills that really need to resonate with the younger demographic that the old-fashioned customer service skills. Right. Smile, be generous, hold open the door. How to write a thank you note <laugh>.
Carol H (05:31):
Right. That's a lost art tracing.
Tracy B (05:33):
It's a lost art <laugh>. So I am just a newly graduated individual. What types of jobs are available? Cause I think sometimes when you jump in there you just think, you know, I'd may be a customer service rep, but that may not be the case, Ashley.
Ashley M (05:51):
Wow. Well we have so many. We have customer facing positions, including tellers, personal bankers, branch managers, loan officers, financial advisors. And we even have insurance agents with lending. We have both mortgage and commercial. We offer an array of opportunities such as a loan processor, loan servicer and underwriter and credit analyst. There are many supporting departments that offer diverse opportunities such as marketing that may appeal to somebody with a creative mind. We also have accounting and internal audit compliance. Those are more of your analytical positions.
Tracy B (06:31):
The list goes on and on. I know.
Ashley M (06:34):
And then of course my favorite one. Human resources,
Tracy B (06:38):
Of course. Shout
Ashley M (06:39):
Out operations. Yes. Shout out operations and then information technology. Those all provide unique professions.
Tracy B (06:46):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's a lot. Well that is quite a list. Yes. And I do have to say I'm in marketing right now, but I have learned so much about banking just from being in marketing with loans, credit scores, insurance, you know, a bank offers so many wonderful benefits. I guess I'm asking the both of you, what are some perks of working at a
Carol H (07:10):
Bank? I think the biggest perk of working for a bank is the great hours. You know, if
Tracy B (07:16):
We're banker's hours, banker's
Carol H (07:17):
Hours. If you're talking about a community bank, you know, most of those banks aren't open on Sundays. They're not open nights. Um, Saturdays maybe shorter hours. So somebody coming from maybe a restaurant or retail background that's looking to get into a different career with different hours, maybe they have a family now and it fits in better with their lifestyle. A career in banking is an awesome choice to make that switch. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I think the reliable hours, the great hours that we have,
Tracy B (07:45):
Holidays off <laugh>,
Carol H (07:46):
Holidays off, but a lot of good working conditions. You know, you asked earlier what's it like to work for a bank? You know, I think we take it for granted that we're in a professional environment and we're in a nice office. We got the nice ac, it's, you know, pretty, pretty cozy in here. You know, most banks also offer a comprehensive benefit package. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, the traditional things. Health, life insurance. Right. Dental insurance, vision, 401k. So you know, when somebody's just graduating from high school or college, they may not be thinking about retirement. But it's important to start early and having a good 401K plan is, is a really nice benefit. Exactly.
Tracy B (08:23):
Very good. You know, I know we laugh and we say banker's hours, but really there are a lot of moving parts that work outside of banking hours that keeps the bank moving forward. And you know, we're very grateful and thankful for those people and it's just such a great topic to talk about right now because I think I love banking
Carol H (08:44):
<laugh>. We do too.
Tracy B (08:45):
Yes. So why don't you guys tell me a little bit about yourself, Ashley, what's your story?
Ashley M (08:50):
Well, I started off as a teller and then I moved to the Fun timer department, which we no longer have. But that was a
Tracy B (08:58):
Travel, a nice
Ashley M (08:59):
Life. It's now the Nice Life Department. I worked in the loan department for a little bit. I uh, worked in accounting and then I was lucky enough to make my way. So
Tracy B (09:09):
In human resources, worked yourself up on all through the different departments. Yes.
Ashley M (09:13):
Which worked out very well for me. Landing in human resources. Hundred percent. I have the knowledge of all the different departments, how they work.
Tracy B (09:21):
Well we're very lucky to have you and Carol, we heard a little bit about your story earlier, but if somebody wants to learn more about getting into banking, do you ladies have any suggestions?
Ashley M (09:33):
There are several links you can go to. Okay. On the website, for example, indeed has one 17 career paths in banking, which is an excellent link. American Bankers Association has a ton of tools to try to find what you're looking for. Different careers in banking.
Carol H (09:51):
You know, if you know somebody, a neighbor, a friend, family member that's been in banking, that's a great resource. Ask or somebody a, a student just graduating. Find somebody that's already working at a bank and just do a little interview with them. Mm-hmm <affirmative> ask them, you know, if they feel that it would be a good fit based on their skillset. We talked earlier about what education is needed and I think sometimes people graduating from college think, oh, I have to have a finance degree or a business degree, math, economics to work at a bank. But there's a lot of other transferrable degrees.
Tracy B (10:25):
And I do want to add to, because we are a community bank and I think one of the things that I enjoy most is that since we are a community bank, we offer that flexibility. So Ashley, I know you have family that's involved in a lot of sports. Yes. So it makes it nice when you can maybe leave to go to a tournament or
Ashley M (10:49):
Tracy B (10:49):
Leave early for a graduation or whatever. Right. So yeah, we're um, we're very family oriented and I think that's one of the things that I really love the best about working here. Obviously I've stayed for 32 years, but I do think, you know, I have children that are also in this space where they're either job looking, searching and we always say of make sure you like your environment you're working in. You spend more time with the people you work with than you sometimes do with your family. Right. And so it's so important to love what you do and enjoy the people you work with every day.
Carol H (11:27):
Yes. So I think that's why we've all been here so long. I
Ashley M (11:30):
Tracy B (11:30):
Agree. I would agree. Any parting thoughts from you? Two lovely ladies.
Carol H (11:36):
I think if somebody is looking for a job right now, most bank websites, I know first Federal's website has a career opportunities link. And I would imagine most banks nowadays have a link like that on their website. So potential candidates can go to the website and see what's out there. We are open for phone calls to our HR department or they can call whatever bank they're looking at. They can call the HR department and ask questions if they need more information. But that's the best way to start is looking on the website. That's sec.
Tracy B (12:07):
Perfect. Well thank you Ashley and Carol. Thanks. It was a pleasure visiting with you. And again, shout out to all you graduates. Congratulations. We are so proud of you. Yay. You did it. Yes. And just another side note, www.ffsbweb.com, get on our blog and Carol has posted an article more about this topic and we wish everyone well and signing off on another podcast.
Carol H (12:44):
Thanks, trace. Yes, thank you.