My first job was as a teller at a community bank in Wisconsin. I mostly worked the drive-thru after school and weekends. One summer during college, I was bored during the slow days in the small branch. Yet the loan officers were swamped. Home loan interest rates were low and everyone was refinancing. At the time, loan officers did all of their own work - no loan assistants. I asked one of the loan officers if there was anything I could do to make their lives easier.
He sat me down and showed me how to prepare closing docs based on what was in the file. Once I had that figured out, he showed me how to input the loan application and get approval. That loan officer saw that I was willing and eager to learn, and continued to show me more and more about loans. That experience became a launching pad for my career. I gained the banking knowledge needed to move into the fintech space, where I stayed for 15 years.
Yet in 2020 being "the year that no one was expecting" I left fintech. Yet I found that I still felt passionate about the mission of community banks. I was fortunate to make a connection with BankBeat magazine where I am a regular contributing editor. I have a dedicated technology column called "Practical Application" and also write other features. You can check out my work by clicking here.