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Dear Trainee: Letters from the class of 2018, part 3

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May 29, 2019

Dear Bank Trainees,

You probably realize it already, but this is going to be a very impactful year in your career, so keep your eyes and ears open for a whole new perspective on how things work at Wilson Bank. As you go through the trainee program, you’ll learn more than just the jobs and roles within the bank – you’ll get to know many of the people who hold those positions. You’ll meet people of all ages, backgrounds and households and even from different states across the country. Take advantage of those moments and relationships.

Without a doubt, going through this program will give you a greater understanding of the bank as an organization. You will make the connections between departments and how they flow, front line and back office and how they interact. Take note of where you might fit into this flow, and how you can make it easier once you complete your time as a trainee. Remember the grievances and complaints (because they are undoubtedly there) and share with others how to avoid these in the future. You now have a unique perspective to share, a hybrid awareness between operations and retail. Don’t lose sight of it!

Since I have been back in a branch, I have taken on a unique Community Banker role. I’m processing loans for our lenders and also backing up our new accounts personnel. I am blessed to be in a role where I touch almost every department that I shadowed every day last year. I still encounter CDs, HSAs, checking and savings accounts and business accounts in between sending loans to Loan Documentation and Credit Reporting teams. If I’m not figuring out how to help a past due customer figure out their payment with Loan Servicing, I might be contacting Loan Documentation about a lender’s exceptions or calling Deposit Servicing about an ACH transaction on an account.  I don’t go a day without needing to call upon an operations connection I made through the trainee program, and I love that.  Anytime I visit the Operations Building for a training or meeting, it’s like a reunion.

One of the biggest challenges trainees face is the need to be flexible on a daily basis. Besides soaking in knowledge, you are also among the few that can fill in for others when need be. If Carthage is in desperate need of a teller, maybe you will spend next Thursday there. If 109 needs new accounts coverage due to a morning meeting, maybe you will spend half a day there and half a day somewhere else, all while you’re shadowing Accounting, Deposit Operations or other departments.  You might set up hundreds of chairs for the stockholder picnic one day and present to the Trainee Board the next.  No two weeks will be the same, but embrace those twists and turns, knowing that each day you spend in this program is making you better prepared for the next one.

The bottom line: enjoy the time, learn from the experts and carry the knowledge forward. That’s how we will better our bank. Good luck!

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