WBA school prepares bankers for management roles, future success 

The business of banking has evolved over the centuries into a model far more intricate than simply taking deposits and making loans. Today’s high-performing banks are complex, fast-paced, and constantly adapting to shifting markets. In that environment, it is essential for high-performing bankers—especially those with the potential to rise within the institution—to have a clear understanding of the inner workings of the bank as whole. The WBA School of Bank Management provides that perspective, and so much more.

Past student PJ Childers, vice president of business banking at Tomahawk Community Bank, says the school gave her a greater understanding of how the different functions within the bank intertwine. “The different sessions brought the big picture together when diving into how each area of the bank needed to work in order for a bank to be successful,” she said.

Aaron Lensink, vice president – business banking manager at The First National Bank of Hartford, says the week-long course made him a “more well-rounded banker” with a better understanding of what goes into being a successful organization. “I’m asking better questions of our CFO to make sure what I’m doing in the commercial side of the business results in positive outcomes for our bank,” he explained.

Designed to help bankers prepare for the intensive, multi-year Graduate School of Banking, the School of Bank Management features many of the same faculty as GSB and its curriculum dives into a wide range of foundational topics. This also makes the School of Bank Management an excellent option for bankers who aren’t able to commit to the time, expense, and/or travel required by a multi-year program. 

Laura Rowe, AVP marketing director at The Stephenson National Bank & Trust, Marinette, says the course was a “springboard,” preparing her to take on a larger role within SNBT’s Deposit Pricing Committee. "With the knowledge I gained in the school, as well as practical in-bank experience, not only am I able to provide insightful guidance, I can help determine future deposit growth strategies,” she said. “It’s been a year and a half since I was at the school and I’m now running the deposit committee at our bank.”

Whether students attend as a precursor to GSB or as a standalone professional development opportunity, WBA’s School of Bank Management prepares them for leadership by helping them understand the connections between different areas of the bank, providing a deeper understanding of bank performance, and fostering a network of peers from across the state. “By going to the School of Bank Management I got to meet people from lending, credit analysis, and branch management,” Rowe explained. “We’ve now been able to reach out to each other about technology or different products in a non-competitive way, because we’re not in the same roles or market.”

The school also provides leadership development coursework to help students grow as managers and prepare them for future leadership roles within their institution. “The leadership section was the most beneficial to take back and apply immediately,” said Childers. “It taught me leadership directive and more about my self-awareness. I was able to apply some leadership styles immediately. In addition, I joined the ALCO committee shortly after attending this school.” 

The WBA School of Bank Management is the development solution for any banker looking to grow their leadership skills while enhancing and expanding their knowledge of banking as a business. “I consider it to be one of the best educational experiences I’ve had in my banking career,” said Lensink. 

Learn more and register today at www.wisbank.com/BankSchool