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COVID-19: A Crash Course in Banking, Part 1

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June 4, 2020

I began my journey as a bank trainee in March, and soon after that I was scheduled to start shadowing employees in different departments to learn about their roles with the bank.  As with so many other things, COVID-19 changed those plans completely - but it’s hard to imagine a more educational experience in banking than the one I’ve been part of over the past few months.

With the arrival of this world-changing event, I was asked to join our PPP team, helping small business customers stay afloat with the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program loans. It’s been a learning experience I will never forget.  My job has primarily involved using a program that helps process loans. I didn’t have any prior experience with the program, but learning something new is always exciting!

New software skills are just the beginning of what I’ve learned during the pandemic, though.  I’ve also picked up some good life lessons and learned a lot about our bank.  Here are a few things I have a much better grasp of today than I did when all this started:

  • Anything can happen, and there’s no point in fighting change.  You have to embrace it with a positive outlook and take on tasks day by day.

  • A crisis is never fun, but it allows you to develop new relationships quickly.  Because of the PPP team, I’ve come to know employees from many different offices and departments.  Many of them I might not have met for a while, if at all, in the regular course of the training program.

  • Our team here at WBT is strong, and we can do anything when we work together!  Even though I was there helping, I almost have a hard time believing the volume of work that’s been done on the PPP loans.  I know it’s also taken a lot of effort at each office and in other departments to help customers adapt, and get their banking done in ways that were new to them.  My passion for this bank is much stronger because of the commitment I’ve seen in the people around me, and the stories I’ve heard from afar.

Knowledge is my word of the year, and I think it’s safe to say I’ve been gaining a lot of it lately. The circumstances aren’t what anyone expected, but that’s been a learning opportunity in itself.  I know the memories of this experience, as well as what I’ve learned, will stay with me for the rest of my career in banking.

One other thing I’ve discovered during the coronavirus outbreak, outside of work: my dogs Willow and Cedar really enjoy a little time in the pool!


Willow and Cedar

 

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