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Bank Independent promotes workforce with Campus 2 Career program

SHEFFIELD – Bank Independent rose from a small, rural mom-and-pop type operation started by a handful of farmers over three-quarters of a century ago to one of the most trusted institutes in North Alabama.

Awards from onlookers and trust within the community have gradually come its way since that humble beginning in 1947, lately in bunches as expansion continues in its Shoals area home and throughout the region.

Bank Independent leans on community – as a business and its involvement within. It also leans on its employees. An example is a program initiated to help new and potential hires to seamlessly assimilate into the company’s ideals.

And the bankers with a rural-turned-cosmopolitan history aren’t resting on past success.

BI started the Campus 2 Career (C2C) initiative that is open to bank employees and others who are recent graduates or post-secondary graduates of a university program. Corey Thomaston, BI’s Talent and Professional Development Officer, leads the C2C program. 

“The Campus 2 Career program has been pivotal in guiding me toward the right seat on the bus here at Bank Independent,” said Victor Alves, a recent graduate of the University of North Alabama. “I have had the unique opportunity to gain exposure to many different departments and teams within the organization, most of whom I may never have known or understood to the extent I do now.

“This understanding of our bank and the people and values that form our unique culture is something that I will carry with me throughout what I anticipate will be a long and rewarding journey here.”

Campus 2 Career is designed to recruit and retain top notch college-educated talent to the organization through unique coaching and career development opportunities to meet individual long-term goals and support the strategy of the bank.

According to Bank Independent, the initial six-month phase of the 12-month long program “exposes C2C bankers to all business areas of the organization independent of the participant’s educational background or degree path. They are introduced to the bank’s culture and begin receiving direction and guidance from managers, leaders and their assigned mentor. Their primary focus is to absorb information and build strong relationships.”

The second six-month phase “allows the C2C bankers to choose two to three areas they would like to work with more closely. These deep dive sessions are intended to provide more clarity to both the participant and the host department on ability to understand and grow necessary skillsets, relational competencies, and overall interest and passion for the role.”

At the end of the year-long program, those who completed it “should confidently interview for placement into a mid-level career position that matches both their area of interest and one that meets the long-term strategic needs of the bank.”

The 12-month program is designed to recruit and retain top notch college-educated talent to the organization through unique coaching and career development opportunities to meet individual long-term goals and support the strategy of Bank Independent. 

“I think it launched my career here at the bank,” said Caleb Hines, who was already working at BI when he saw an email about the program that he has since graduated. “I was able to see all of our departments within the bank, and then along with that it build relationships with people in those departments.”

Hines is with the bank’s project management office.

“I use those relationships that I built in our Campus 2 Career program,” he said. “It helps me do my job. It’s been extremely beneficial.”

Alves’ review of the program is equally positive.

I would highly recommend this program to others because it is so rare to have an organization invest so much into your development, and this experience allows you to fast-track many of the early components of career development,” he said. “Anyone seeking to build a career in banking would benefit from the vast experience that I have been able to draw on through meeting and getting to know hundreds of our team members.”

 

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