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Education & Insights

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August 01, 2014

The Case for Internship Programs. And A Farewell to Trevor.

Provident Bank Internship Programs

You’ve probably noticed the presence of our intern, Trevor Woolley, on the forum for the past couple of months. He’s been quietly and methodically adding a unique voice to the conversation (helping to create a richly-textured and dynamic community) and proving himself an astute student of cash management principles.

His contributions to the Cash Management Department both on- and off-line have been invaluable, and now as his internship draws to a close, he will be sorely missed. We may have taught Trevor about the ins and outs of cash management, but he taught us what it means to be mentors— and why every business should invest in internship programs.

The Ideal Intern

Trevor is a stellar example of the talent that excellent internship programs attract. Growing up in Toms River, New Jersey, he spent time teasing his younger brothers, playing tennis and, like everyone else, hanging out at the beach. But not quite like everyone else, he took to business finance at a young age— like a fish takes to water.

His father started his own real estate investing company about 18 years ago, and ever since, Trevor has been hooked. “I’m fascinated by learning how businesses run,” he said. It comes as no surprise then that when it came time for college, he decided on a combined 5 year BBA/MBA Accounting program at Pace University in NYC. He was willing to take on such a challenge because, he says, accounting is a solid business foundation and it made sense for his career.

But what brought him to Provident? “My father was an internal auditor for First Savings Bank (which was acquired by Provident in 2004) over 20 years ago. I asked for his advice when I was applying for internships in the spring of 2013 and he suggested Provident. When I was offered the internal audit position, it was a no brainer.”

Trevor is a second-year intern at the bank. He returned this summer because he liked “the work environment, people, and culture.” He chose cash management because he thought it would be interesting. And boy, are we glad he did. 

It’s Not about Coffee

We believed a valuable internship would enhance Trevor’s written and oral communication, time management, and interpersonal skills, give him practical experience and impart a foundational understanding of cash management.

That’s why he didn’t spend his time making coffee, running errands, scanning, and performing menial tasks. We trusted him with more important things.

He was involved in monitoring activity and completing compliance requirements for high-risk services like ACH and remote deposit capture. He attended and documented minutes for operational meetings—both high-level and laser-focused— about services in our pipeline.

Fortunately, Trevor interned during a historic time, while the bank was knee-deep in the conversion of Team Capital (the Pennsylvania-based bank Provident recently acquired). He was able to witness merger discussions on Cash Management services.

But the highlight of his internship, he says, was on-site customer visits and all of the responsibility that came with managing the project plans. He also enjoyed meeting, spending time with, and networking with the other interns. According to Trevor, “Employing multiple interns at once is a factor other companies should consider: they can rely on each other, learn from one another, and reap more benefits from their internships because they don’t feel so isolated.”                  

Trevor, as you know, has also played a considerable role in the LinkedIn forum. As a former top contributor (he’s quick to point out), his favorite part was researching and sharing informative articles with our customers. “The information is truly valuable and, for the most part, cost effective!” he asserts. “Speaking of cost-efficiency,” he adds, “Business professionals should connect on social networks because it is FREE! Yes, it takes time, but it’s worth it in the end. Not only are other customers on our forum, but our cash management experts and business partners comment often.”

His other tip for business owners? “Cash management services are tools that help your business run more effectively. Whether it’s ACH or wire transfers, remote deposit capture, investments, or fraud prevention, business owners should learn what works best for their business.”      

The Positive Feedback Loop of Internships

What works best is investing in an internship program. We think Trevor said it well. “I think companies should have strong internship programs because they bring a new perspective—perhaps a more tech-savvy one—to the workplace as interns apply the skills learned in the classroom. Companies, like Provident, who allow interns to apply these skills through real work will benefit in the long run, becoming more attractive to the applicants they helped make more competitive and skilled.”

It’s only right to mentor successive generations, to give them the opportunity to succeed. And it seems Trevor found success here. “This internship gave me the management experience I was looking for. I learned project planning and interesting management and marketing strategies. I also improved my work ethic and time management skills working in such a diverse and fast-paced environment.”

He adds, “I have realized over the past two summers that Provident is a great place to work, and I’m not alone in that thinking. I’ve heard about a number of employees who have been here for 30+ years and that’s mind blowing, especially considering the un-tethered employee environment that we live in today. Provident has a valuable corporate culture that gives employees a chance to thrive. Bernadette and Corinne have been great motivators and mentors, believing in me and allowing me to work with high-risk services. I thank them for their guidance.”

Auf Wiedersehen

Those positive feelings are mutual, Trevor. We wish you continued success. Go make your mark on the world. We’ll send you off in song:

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, good night.

I hate to go, and leave this pretty sight.

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, adieu.

Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you.

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