Bank execs prepare Campbell students for a volatile job market

April 1, 2009 | Leave a Comment


Buies Creek, N.C.-Some times, even First Citizens Bank premier wealth management advisors Gene Lewis and Carol Yochem had to learn from their own mistakes, not just their successes. But learn they did and organized their collective wisdom into a list of 10 tips for successful navigation of a volatile job market. The two were on hand Wednesday, April 1, to share the information with students at Campbell University's Lundy-Fetterman School of Business.

"We want to bring advice to you for what seems to be a very challenging market," said Lewis, a Campbell University graduate. "For the first time over the last several months the Dow was up seven percent in March. It was a welcome relief. For the first time I was able to sit back and take a deep breath since this financial meltdown began."

Lewis said the majority of the students in Professor David Butler's Wealth Management Sales class would be looking for a job in a market that has seen the collapse and fall of some of the country's largest financial institutions.

"There are 10 things that you need to know as you enter the work force," he said.

Dividing the points between them, Lewis and Yochem related anecdotes from their own careers in which these lessons played an important role.

Advising the students to set realistic expectations, Yochem said, "Don't expect the corner office and the big salary the first job you get. Once, I was even asked to sweep the floor of the break room as a bank manager trainee. I realized later that it was a test to see what kind of attitude I had."

Other important advice included plotting future potential of a job, finding a good fit, always being conscious of the image you present, developing the skills of listening and intuition and networking the old-fashioned way through direct contact.

"You have to get out and beat the streets for yourself," Lewis said. "No one is going to come knocking your door down. A lot of people have been displaced and they will be competing for the same jobs. Use the tools and resources available to you."

Be aware of the importance of developing relationships, Yochem added. "Hard work and IQ will only get you so far. At some point you'll be in a pool of people who are the same as you are. It is relationships and how you handle yourself with others that help you differentiate yourself and move ahead of the crowd."

Prior to their presentation, Lewis and Yochem presented a check in the amount of $5,000 to Campbell University's Trust Education Foundation.

"We are passionate about the mission of the Trust Education Foundation," Lewis said. "We are very proud to support this institution."

Photo Copy: Gene Lewis, senior vice president of Wealth Management for First Citizens Banks, shares his wisdom on finding the right job with Campbell business students. (Photo by Bennett Scarborough)