Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"How did you end up in banking?"

That's what my mom asked me last night.

And, honestly? I have no idea.
I just started a job for a rather large regional bank in WNY (Western New York) in what they call the "back office" relating to mortgages. How I ended up here? I think (and I believe in this stuff) it is my "destiny" (for lack of a better term). However, I love it.
I started out working part-time (very part-time) for Regal Cinemas. It was okay. The pay sucked but I got as many free movies as I wanted and an unlimited supply of movie posters. I wanted something more.

Let me confess something. I'm 27 and....wait for it....I still live at home. I know, I know. It's a little embarassing given that most of my classmates are married with a kid or two and we are coming up to our 10-year reunion, but there it is. I live at home. Most nights, you can find me in the living room with my mom and dad answering Jeopardy! questions.

The more that I wanted was a better car than the '97 tank I was driving and also using to see how many deer I could hit on back roads. The more was my own apartment. And freedom.

So, my sister had an awesome job doing mortgage customer service for a well-known, nationwide mortgage company. I had nothing to lose and applied, thus starting my career in banking. I was thrown everything there was to catch relating to mortgages, taxes, and insurance and soaked it up like a sponge. A year later, they trusted me to train new hires and throw the same information at them and gave me a super-cool title of Backup Trainer.
A year later, the site manager asked me to apply for the open supervisor position, which I did. Turns out, he asked someone else to apply for the position also. When it came down to it, they were given the position and I was turned down for some nonsense reason. I'd had enough being that department's whipping girl. I filled out a handful of applications for my current financial institution and someone finally saw my strengths.

Now, I work in banking. I get to wake up at 6am every day. Drive from Akron, NY all the way to University at Buffalo-South Campus and take a metro train with other bleary-eyed commuters to beautiful downtown Buffalo. I have a great view and it's been a week and I already love my job. Free pizza. A great cafeteria. A free preview performance of the musical Million Dollar Quartet in our lobby, and already great people to work with. I just need my cubicle and I'm set.

Hi, I'm Ali, and I work in banking.

P.S.--I no longer drive the tank, but I am now a "stupid, shiny Volvo owner." (cookies if you get the reference.)

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