“It is a way for Hickory Point Bank to get out in front of students and help them learn about career options. Working at a bank is not just being a teller or loans; there are also roles that involve other business majors like Marketing and Management,” Dean of the Tabor School of Business RJ Podeschi said. “This has been a good growing partnership, and we are always looking for ways to build and supply that pipeline of Millikin students to Decatur businesses.”
The afternoon event held at ADM-Scovill Hall brought together students, leaders from Hickory Point Bank and Millikin alums who have previously participated in the bank’s professional development programs.
“The partnership between Hickory Point Bank and Millikin has been very beneficial in learning more about students and their wants and needs,” Hickory Point Bank Vice President and Credit Officer Ashton Barling said. “We wanted to share our opportunities for different students with different degrees. You learn a lot of different topics in college, but sometimes, you aren’t diving into what you will be doing when you graduate. Events like these give them more details and the ability to go in-depth about careers.”
Hickory Point Bank's Consumer Leadership Program is a 24-month program that offers a combination of in-class instruction, on-the-job training, and mentoring to prepare candidates for officer-level positions and long-term career opportunities with the bank. The Commercial Banking Officer Development Program is a multi-year experience where candidates learn and apply financial statement analysis, credit underwriting, industry research, loan documentation, relationship development, project management and leadership skills.
Millikin alum Ryan Dobey ’19, MBA ’20 took part in the Commercial Banking program and is now a Commercial Banking Officer at Hickory Point Bank.
“I did a year of credit analysis where you learn how to underwrite loans and how to analyze the risk of companies,” Ryan said. “Then you move into a role where you learn from an actual lender. Afterward, you go into a lending role and manage clients.”
The opportunities to get hands-on Performance Learning opportunities at Millikin, combined with his coursework, came together ideally in the Commercial Banking program.
“Performance Learning was exactly why I wanted to go to Millikin. I was taking steps and going in the right direction to where I wanted to be. Even as a first-year student, you get to create a business from scratch and go through all the levels. That has helped me create an overall perspective of what business is," Ryan said. "It has helped tremendously when talking with business owners about how their company works and how it can be better. (In the Commercial Banking program), I learned so much working in credit analysis. It put everything together for me, from undergraduate to MBA to a banking career.”