Jatia Hall Found Success in a New Industry Thanks to BankWork$

After working as a pharmacy technician for six years, Jatia Hall wanted to pursue a new opportunity. She learned about BankWork$ at Philadelphia OIC and was extremely interested upon learning that all graduates get interviews with companies hiring immediately. With no prior experience in banking, she knew pursuing an entirely different career would be challenging, but applied for the program and has never looked back.    

“At that point in my career, my only background was in medical customer service,” said Jatia. “I knew that good customer service skills could transfer into the financial services industry, but I didn’t know anything about banking itself. I also knew that finding a new pharmaceutical role would be easier, but I wanted to try something different and exciting.”     

Jatia attended Shantelle Faison’s BanKWork$ class at Philadelphia OIC. “Shantelle taught me how to be as professional as possible in the workplace. I would have never thought about standing up to shake hands if she hadn’t shown me. She also taught me to dress for the position I want, not where I currently am. I still use her teachings daily, and I’m grateful to have her as part of my support system,” Jatia said.    

After graduating from BankWork$ in May 2019, Jatia interviewed with multiple financial institutions at the hiring fair that immediately follows any BankWork$ or CareerWork$ Medical graduation ceremony. “On graduation day, I loved how you’re able to connect with recruiters from all types of places,” said Jatia. Shortly after graduating, she enthusiastically accepted an offer for a teller role at TD Bank.

After two years at TD Bank, in 2021 Jatia was promoted to her current role of Customer Experience Coordinator, thanks to her consistently excellent customer feedback. She provides customer services, including opening accounts, teller operations, building bank relationships, and mentoring new tellers. She feels appreciated on her team. “I can help things run smoothly on busy days,” said Jatia. “I love helping people, and when customers appreciate my service, it warms my heart. It’s the most rewarding feeling.”    

Jatia is enjoying her career at TD Bank and making a difference in her community. As she looks ahead, she wants to go into either a Finacial Advisor or Financial Service Representative role.     

“When I was in BankWork$, I had such a great introduction to this industry. Shantelle continues to be a resource and friend, and everyone at Philadelphia OIC wanted me to succeed. My advice for anyone considering BankWork$ is to never limit yourself and stay vigilant. I knew nothing about banking before applying, and now I oversee tellers every day. If you have the drive to succeed, you have all the opportunities you could need.”  

Click here to learn more about BankWork$, our partnership with Philadelphia OIC, or to sign up for an upcoming class.  

Thanks to BankWork$, Andrew Wilson’s Career at Columbia Bank Has Continued to Thrive for Over Five Years

After graduating high school in 2017, Andrew Wilson—like so many—knew he needed to work but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do professionally. A friend had recently graduated from BankWork$ at YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish and, after seeing Andrew’s discouragement following multiple rejections for lack of experience, pushed Andrew to consider BankWork$.  

Andrew was primarily drawn to the general career preparation that BankWork$ provides. “When I started BankWork$, I didn’t know what to expect,” says Andrew. “My instructor helped me learn to be detail-oriented and focused. She understood that I needed to learn the basics of banking, and we started there. One day in class, we did an exercise where we pretended to be tellers. While I was doing a transaction, my fellow teller got robbed—nobody noticed. It helped me learn to be aware of many different things around me.”  

Mercedes Rippel, Andrew’s BankWork$ Instructor, continued to stay in contact with him after graduation and still offers her support today. “When I first met Andrew, he was timid and unsure of himself,” says Mercedes. “Once I interviewed him, I knew he would make an excellent Banker! Here we are today, and I could not be prouder of his success!”  

Upon graduating from BankWork$, Andrew, like all graduates, attended a hiring fair where he interviewed with local financial institutions. He accepted an offer as a Backup Teller at Columbia Bank. Through diligent work and excellent customer service, he was promoted to a Full-Time Teller within a year.   

Now, five years after graduating from BankWork$, he has been promoted to Exceptions Officer; he helps customers check for corrections daily and ensures deposits go to their correct accounts. He loves advancing his career at Columbia Bank. 

“My family has always supported me and knew I would find a successful career. I have that now at Columbia Bank. I enjoy my role and want to stay with Columbia for a long time,” said Andrew.

“Before BankWork$, I had trouble finding any job. I didn’t know how to present myself, and I had terrible confidence, but the program taught me the fundamental skillset of banking and changed my mindset around my self-worth. Many of us in the class were in tough spots, but we all had a supportive mentality. It was an extremely welcoming and encouraging environment. Had I not stuck around, I’d be completely different.”   

Columbia Bank is a proud employer partner in Seattle, South Puget Sound, and Portland with our partners YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, Career Path Services, and SE Works respectively, with a robust history of hiring BankWork$ grads. Like Andrew, graduates across the country continue to thrive in new careers thanks to BankWork$.  

Click here to learn more about BankWork$ and our partnership with YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish.