Insights from a Citibank Veteran - From Bank Teller to Market Director
By Joe Wolff, Midwest Market Director, U.S. Citi Commercial Bank May 09, 2014 08:59 AM
To celebrate the Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress, Joe Wolff (Midwest Market Director, U.S. Citi Commercial Bank) shares insights from his first job.
During the summer of my sophomore year at Canisius College, I took a position as a teller at a Citibank branch in Buffalo, New York. This job served as a stepping stone to a long career at Citi: following graduation, I was offered a Management Associate position and have since been named Midwest Market Director. My success at the company began with the hard work and perseverance I exhibited during my first job.
As a finance major, I started the job with basic knowledge of the field, but I believe that my desire to pursue a long-term career in the industry is what made me a more attractive candidate, and ultimately, helped me get the job. But as many before me have learned, sheer interest does not always translate into results. My lack of experience contributed to one of my biggest mistakes and caused me to learn an important lesson.
In my first week on the job, my teller drawer did not balance, meaning that I was not able to accurately account for all monetary transactions. Given that this task is critical to being successful as a teller, this unfortunate incident forced me to recognize the importance of being diligent and taking the time to count back the money to the customer out loud. Applying this lesson more broadly, I now understand the need to be consistent and careful, and constantly challenge myself to think about how I can improve my performance to drive positive results.
Over the years I have held multiple roles within Citi, and one of the greatest lessons I have come to learn is that every job has its teachable moments. Understanding how you can use that knowledge and experience is what truly sets you apart in advancing your career.
Today, as the Midwest Market Director of Citi's Commercial Bank, I continue to heed these lessons. This piece of the business holds a significant portfolio, so it's critical that I live by the lessons I learned in my first job and complete each task carefully and to the best of my ability. And as I now lead a team of 30 professionals, I hope to share these lessons with each of them, so they may learn from not only their own experiences but from mine as well.