By Natalie Hockaday
I know that economics and finance are extremely important to understand. After all, they dictate a lot of the biggest decisions we make. As a communications major interested in a broadcasting journalism career, I must learn to apply my knowledge within any industry—economics and finance included. That’s why I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as a Marketing and Communications intern this summer at ICBA.
Coming into this internship without prior knowledge of the banking industry was a little intimidating because I knew there was a lot of information that I would have to learn to be successful. I also knew that I wanted to take away as much from this opportunity as possible.
At ICBA I learned how community banks have a profoundly positive effect on their communities. I appreciate how invested they are in helping the people around them, while helping their community prosper.
A big topic that came up often over my summer internship was that of community banking millennial outreach. As I heard more about this topic, I started to wonder about the values of my generation. My generation grew up in the new age of technology. We were raised in a world where technology was constantly and rapidly innovating and expanding. Technology, efficiency, and simplicity are what catches our attention. We want something that can make us feel like we are doing something ourselves when really it is the technology that is doing all the work. It is about working smarter, not harder.
When it comes to banking, millennials want to do it remotely. We want to pull an app up on our phones to check an account, transfer money within or outside our bank, or even apply for a loan. It’s all about convenience.
College students like me are starting to work more and need financial assistance to help pay for school. If community banks want to have more millennial outreach, perhaps adding access on campuses would assist in doing that. There are plenty of students who open new accounts when transitioning into college and those account often serve as the foundation of their financial relationships. By expanding community banks to college campuses, whether they are universities or community colleges, millennial outreach will no doubt be a success.
Millennials are also visual learners and quickly adapt to things we see. This is because the Internet and social media provide visual outlets for us to express ourselves. In other words—bring on the infographics, memes, photos, and videos when trying to reach us. It will go a long way in catching our attention and engaging us.
As I plan to head back to school, I’ve reflected on how much I appreciated my time at ICBA because I learned more about my career interests and how community banks play a large role in the economy and helping their community be more successful.