More Special Guests Visit During Week 4 of the WLA and Generation Universal Banker Program

Students of the WLA and Generation Universal Banking Program kicked off week four of the five-week program with an exciting day. The future bankers showed off their progress by reviewing technical banking terms. The goal was to ensure that everyone in the class had the consistent knowledge base.  Students also learned about safety within a bank and were joined by a few special guests.


M&T Speaks to Soon-To-Be Bankers


A few weeks ago, the future bankers visited local bank and WLA member M&T Bank at their North Union Street location. Speaking about her experience, this is where Heddi, a Branch Manager there spoke to the about how there is a lot of opportunity with banking.

“It is a fun and rewarding job.” She said.

Students asked questions not only about the culture of their potential employer, but they also were interested in understanding promotions and how to move within the organization. Each student clearly demonstrated an interest in becoming managers and going above and beyond.


Heddi was impressed with the banking students. “I am happy I got to come and meet them,” she said. “They had great questions and the right energy.”


JP Morgan Chase visits with Delaware Funds


Joe, a human resource professional at JP Morgan Chase talked to the students about transferable skills. He spoke about setting yourself up to be successful and follow your interests.



“You have to position yourself to grow. You have to be strategic with where you want to go. You’re playing a game of chess, not checkers.” he said.


The students had got the opportunity to discuss with Joe potential interview questions and get an outside perspective on what answers worked and what could be improved.


Destrian, the assistant vice president and relationship manager of Delaware Funds in Philadelphia, also took time out of his day to pay the students a visit. He provided advice about having confidence and being comfortable with yourself.



“When you’re in an interview, remember,  don’t take any step in the process for granted.”


Both Joe and Destrian took turns answering questions and giving students a chance to understand that a professional relationship can be supportive. It’s key to have someone to cheer you on, but equally important to have a colleague that will be open and honest about how you can improve your professional skills.


A final sentiment came from Destrian: “What got you here, won’t get you there.”


Student Spotlight: Jared

 Jared, a student who convinced Justice to come to the program, is an entrepreneur and local celebrity with the local school-aged kids. He is known for helping to pay for local Wilmington children’s food even when he is struggling. 


Jared was once a local football star. He played as a safety (lc) for Concord High School. In his junior year, he had recruiters from Division One schools interested with plenty of scholarship money ready for him. To his misfortune, he suffered nerve damage from playing and after that, the scholarship money disappeared and colleges pulled back from their offers.


Looking back, he realized his grades could have been better if he’d worked harder. Since then he’s been a go-getter and a self-starter, ensuring the same mistake won’t be made again.


Not long ago Jared found out about the WLA and Generation Universal Banker Program by a chance encounter at the library. He was there to print out paperwork to start his company Global Money Getters.


After interviewing to be part of the Generation Universal Banker Program, he discovered his cousin Chris was the mentor. He knew he was meant to be part of this program.


“I just took it as a sign and hopefully it puts me into a better situation.”


For Jared and many others in this program, learning how to be a banker is a step to set themselves and their children up for success.


He is inspired by his past to be successful. He reflected on one Thanksgiving the electricity had been turned off and his mom made the entire dinner on a Kerosene heater. “I can take that energy and use it to motivate others. Some people grow up in households that don’t let you be confident in yourself and all it takes is that belief in you. You get up and go where you need to go.”



This blog is part of a series that will feature the first class of students to graduate from the WLA and Generation Universal Banker Program. Come back each week for an update on how the class is going, along with highlights. Read last week’s recap by clicking here.

If you and your organization are interested in creating impactful programming for the Wilmington community, Click here to learn more about joining WLA.

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