Career Advice for Young Bankers
Ginny Smith, our latest Monthly Mentor, has been in the banking industry for over 30 years, with 20 years focused on data systems and enterprise services. She currently serves as director of enterprise services at Triad Business Bank, where she has been instrumental in successfully implementing core and ancillary software systems. In addition to being a leader to help all teams across the bank communicate effectively and assisting with software implementations, she is a go-to person for anything technology related.
Ginny has worked in many areas of the bank, including experience as a teller, lender, deposit operations manager and data systems administrator. She has worked as an enterprise project lead and functional department lead for over 17 mergers and acquisitions. She and her family currently reside in the Triad, where she has supported the community and worked for over 30 years. Read on to learn Ginny’s thoughts on inspiration and motivation, challenging yourself and keeping up with technology!
Inspiration and Motivation: Over the years I have worked in many positions in different banking institutions. It has given me a unique perspective on figuring out what my favorite position is, which is enterprise services and the importance of technology. I love helping people find creative solutions, solve problems, make things more efficient and effective. I receive satisfaction from being a problem solver and by thinking outside of the box. These are my motivating factors that keep me inspired. My experience of being in many different roles in banking helps me offer suggestions that add value. Community banking has given me more opportunities to explore other areas as there is always the need to wear many hats, so the opportunity for growth and problem solving is always there. I believe that finding what inspires and challenges you is the key to staying motivated.
Challenging Yourself: My advice is to not let the fear of failure stop you from taking on a new challenge, a new responsibility, or task. I learn the most about myself when I am challenged and uncomfortable. I aim to learn from any mistakes as they are how I continue to grow and develop. While working at a previous employer, I had the opportunity to be involved in 17 bank acquisitions. After each project and acquisition, I would work on the process, learning and creating a playbook as I worked with my team to make the process more effective and efficient. This helped ensure each new project had guidelines, lessons learned and helped foster partnerships and relationships. I have worked on understanding the importance of each role in an organization, walking through what they do and to focus on communication. It can be hard to ask questions and be vulnerable, but it helps all parties in the long run. Don’t be afraid of something new!
Keeping Up with Technology: My advice during the holiday season is to be aware of phishing scams! We read and are exposed to these scams throughout the year with the peak during the holidays. These scams continue to develop and can be very believable, even with tech-savvy individuals. Do not use your work email for shipping, contributions, and donations. An example is a delivery notification- if you receive emails with these notifications, do not click on emails to check on the status. Go directly to the website or the app. Statistically, the majority of malware and security breaches tie back to phishing scams so be aware and protect yourself and your employer.
Remember to keep an open mind and be accepting of continuous changes. Don’t limit yourself by just keeping up with technology solutions just in banking, see what else is being developed in other industries such as the medical and education fields. These fields require similar types of personal information and must protect it, and they are also working with individuals as their primary objective and solving problems. An example of these industries leading the charge is that the medical field was using E-sign before banks were. Keeping an open mind and staying aware of changes is key.