Pandemic Teaches Valuable Lessons to Students

For college students throughout the country, an internship during the coronavirus pandemic has become a crash course in adaptability. While many companies chose to cancel their program or move to an online environment, BBOK strongly believed an in-office bank exposure program was still the best way for interns to develop and learn about bank operations.

In June, Brady Rockers, a finance senior from KU, and Reece Kay, a business management senior from WSU, began their internship at BBOK. Both were born into banker families, had previous bank experience and were interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the different areas in a bank to help them decide their career path.

“We felt it was important to give the students as close as possible the internship we promised them when they were hired in January,” says Peg Baldwin, BBOK senior vice president and internship program lead. “With 70% of BBOK’s workforce working remotely at least part of the week, it has been somewhat of a challenge to maintain the high standard we have set for the program. Right now, the most valuable lesson we are demonstrating each day is that bank employees are flexible and willing to do whatever it takes to maintain customer care regardless of environmental obstacles. We truly believe this year’s program is an accurate reflection of what the workplace of the future is going to look like.”

Brady and Reece are spending six weeks at BBOK, participating in the internal workings of a correspondent bank. They have witnessed traditional day-to-day activities alongside the adapted normal – team meetings with everyone in their office communicating through WebEx instead of in person, training in the conference room to allow for six feet distancing while sharing a screen, calling customers versus in-branch visits.

With their college careers ending soon, Brady and Reece say they would like to pursue a career in banking and hope to establish themselves in a small Kansas community. However, keeping their options open in terms of career path remains important both say, “we know lots of recent graduates still looking for work. It is a tough market so we must remain flexible or else we risk getting stuck. Who knows what it will look like for us when we graduate but we know this internship at BBOK has given us a great opportunity to witness how, as an employee, we can adapt quickly and remain highly productive in the midst of the pandemic. That experience is invaluable.”

Have you considered creating an internship program but struggled with where to start? BBOK believes in the value of exposing young adults to the many opportunities banking provides for a fulfilling career. We are happy to share our internship model with you. Contact Peg Baldwin at 1.800.999.5725.

The Kansas Correspondent – 2nd Quarter 2020