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Students Gain Insight Into Banking Careers

By: allisonwilde   Published 3:10 pm / February 14, 2017

Careers You Can Bank On, a panel discussion and networking event sponsored by the Idaho Chapter of the Risk Management Association (RMA) and organized by the College of Business and Economics (COBE), on Feb. 9 exposed COBE students to career opportunities within banking.

three people at Careers You Can Bank On eveny at Boise State

Judi Walker, panelist from Washington Trust Bank, with other bank representatives at the networking reception

The panel discussion portion was held in the Skaggs Hall of Learning. Panelists were Greg Blake, chief information officer at the Idaho Housing and Finance Association; Joel Hickman, chief banking officer at Idaho Trust Bank; Toni Nielsen, region president for Zions First National Bank; Russ Porter, CEO of Mountain West Bank; and Judi Walker, senior HR generalist for Washington Trust Bank. Panelists related personal career experiences and answered questions for more than 70 students in attendance.

Joel Hickman, Toni Nielsen, Russ Porter, Greg Blake and Judy Walker - panelist at Careers You Can Bank On event at Boise State

Panelists Joel Hickman, Toni Nielsen, Russ Porter, Greg Blake and Judi Walker

Assistant professor in the Department of Finance, Garrett McBrayer, helped organize the event. At the networking reception, panelists and approximately 20 additional banking executives from the Treasure Valley discussed with students the myriad of opportunities within the banking sector. Students received individual attention and were able to talk with people that hold many different positions in banking and finance.

“The initial feedback from students was very positive. Several students indicated that they both increased their awareness of the variety of career options within banking and that they appreciated the genuine opportunity to network,” said McBrayer. “We are grateful for the banking professionals that engaged with our students and helped promote banking careers.”

Co-organizer and COBE Career Services Director Laura Chiuppi was pleased with the student turnout and the support of faculty and staff.

“Having a robust COBE presence at the event surely indicates to our students that we as a college strive to ensure their success beyond the walls of the classroom,” said Chiuppi.

After the event, the incoming president of RMA, Jeff Warr from Givens Pursley, indicated that their organization would like to begin planning for a follow-up event next year.