Welcome to the new series, 'Girl Banker in the Making' where young women just starting their banking careers share their Girl Banker stories in their own words. Girl Banker In the Making: Madelyn McConnell | Teller, Grand Savings Bank Student, friend, employee, daughter, and sister are all different roles I play. I live a busy, hectic life but I love the life I live. That’s all a girl can ask for, right? I once heard someone refer to a girl boss as a girl who has big dreams and is willing to work for them. A girl who is striving to give her best effort in everything she does and rises up with the help of those around her who are constantly pushing her to do better. To me, that’s the perfect definition of a girl boss. I could not be where I am now without the people around me supporting me and pushing me to do my best. My name is Madelyn McConnell, but my friends and family know me as Maddy. I recently graduated from Bentonville West High School and I plan to attend the University of Arkansas in the fall to study business. I am currently an employee at Grand Savings Bank and work as a teller. The principle at Bentonville West, Mr. Guthrie, has always used two words to describe how he wants the students at Bentonville West to be: involved and engaged. I take pride in knowing that I was involved and engaged at Bentonville West and have been involved in the community. I was an active member in DECA, a competitive business club, and held three officer positions in addition to National Honors Society, the Student Advisory Board, and the freshmen mentor program. I graduated with high honors and took several Advanced Placement courses. I love my community and have served as a small group leader in my church’s elementary program, volunteered for special Olympic events, and was a part of a program to support local teen moms. Being involved in my community has helped me build many new relationships and I’ve acquired so many new life skills that will be beneficial for me in the long run. My grandpa worked at Outdoor Cap and is a very professional, smart man. I had the opportunity to job shadow him once and was inspired to pursue a career in business. Initially, I had this big dream of being a Fashion Merchandising Major, then as I got exposed to what being a Fashion Merchandising major entailed and decided that wasn’t for me. I became exposed to more industries within business from DECA and started focusing and competing in the marketing category and loved it. That is what I wanted to do! I began taking more marketing classes and basic business classes in high school to begin getting a good foundation. In the middle of my junior year, I came across an amazing opportunity. My counselor at school had talked to the Market President at Grand Savings about hiring a high school student employee. In March 2018, I went to Grand Savings Bank, completely unaware that my name had been given to Mr. Tommy Coughlin as a potential hire. My intent for going was to ask for a sponsorship for DECA to compete at the National Competition in Anaheim, California. We began talking about the sponsorship and next thing I knew, the bank was calling wanting to interview me for a teller position. Throughout the school year, I worked after school every day from 2pm-5pm and a few Saturdays a month. During the summer, I worked 20-30 hour weeks. I fell in love with the banking industry for many reasons but mainly because of the relationships. The people I work with are very uplifting and encouraging and make work a fun place to be, to the point that I looked forward to coming to work. Sometimes I would even come in earlier than scheduled. But not only did I enjoy my fellow employees, but also the customers. Building relationships and interacting with the customers brings me so much joy. I love getting to see a customer smile after we have satisfied their financial needs. Another reason I love working at the bank is that every day is a challenge. Being challenged is great because not only does it allow me to learn something new, but it also builds character by teaching me perseverance. I learn to tackle those challenges with maturity and responsibility and get to expand my knowledge of banking. Working at a bank has taught me two vital things. One is that communication is key. I must communicate well with the bank’s leaders and I must communicate on behalf of myself. For me to gain the most success, I have had to communicate to my leaders my plans and goals for the future to ensure that we are all on the same page. I also find that sticking up for myself has been important. If I have an idea that I think will benefit the bank or the team, I must stand up and share instead of waiting for someone to ask my opinion. Secondly, dedication is critical to being successful. As I worked at the bank during the summer, I had to make sacrifices and rearrange my priorities. Working hard towards my career will significantly help me in the long run and impact me in a substantial way. I had to keep that thought close when my friends asked me to go on beach vacations. Communication and dedication are essential. As I stated before, I once heard someone refer to a girl boss as being a girl who has big dreams and is willing to work for them; striving to give her best effort in everything and rises with the help of those around her pushing her to do better. I aspire to be this girl boss. My big dream is to continue to excel in the banking industry and eventually move up the ladder. Hard work always pays off and I plan to do just that while listening to the other girl bankers that surround me to achieve my big dream. Alright, girl bankers on 3! 1...2...3...GIRL BANKERS!!