Jonathon Frank’s career path has spanned a collegiate basketball court, some of New York City’s most iconic buildings, a serious, life-altering injury, and – more recently – the BankWork$® career development program, and a growing career in financial services.
A New York native, after completing his undergraduate degree in business management at Long Island University while also starring as small forward on its basketball team, Jonathon embarked on what would become a 15-year career in New York City’s construction industry. During that time, Jonathon helped construct 10 high-rise buildings that now dot the city’s skyline – including the Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan.
But in 2014, Jonathon suffered a major neck injury at his construction job. He was left temporarily paralyzed. Once one of the fastest players on the basketball court, Jonathon now had to learn how to walk again.
He began a new chapter in his life and career with a cross-country move to Los Angeles, where he explored a career in real estate but found it wasn’t a good fit. A professional contact introduced Jonathon to Julian Hampton, Associate Director of JVS SoCal, our partner in the Los Angeles area.
Initially, Jonathon remembers, after speaking with Julian he remained “pretty skeptical” about pursuing a career in financial services. For him, it was a “completely different world.” But Jonathon wanted the kind of stability BankWork$ offered, so he gave it a try. That skepticism soon waned.
While he had extensive customer service experience from the real estate industry, Jonathon says he needed to “learn the language” and industry-specific skills that BankWork$ provides. “As I went through the program, I realized I had a knack for this. By the second week, I was like, ‘I think I can do this.’” He also credits Julian’s steadfast encouragement as he completed the program in Fall 2021.
Like all BankWork$ graduates, after a celebration ceremony Jonathon participated in a career fair and interviewed with employer partners in the region. Jonathon admits he was nervous going into the interviews – “I hadn’t done a job interview in 15 years!” – but says the program’s mock interview practices were important preparation. After receiving multiple offers for jobs with career growth potential, Jonathon accepted a role as a Relationship Associate with City National Bank, where he started in March 2021.
For Jonathon, his career in financial services has been a “seamless transition” from BankWork$ and “beyond expectations,” as he built relationships with his clients and “experiences who they are.”
“BankWork$ is a wonderful opportunity. It creates a pathway. You can’t get that kind of knowledge and experience anywhere else,” says Jonathon. “It set me up perfectly to walk into this industry with my feet planted firmly and with a lot of confidence. But you have to be committed.”
Like so many BankWork$ graduates, Jonathon has also begun wearing another hat: an advocate and evangelist for the program, as he’s already recruited two friends to BankWork$.