Is attending a Graduate School of Banking on your banking career to-do list? What once may have seemed like a career development opportunity just for commercial lenders, presidents, and CEOs is now a wide-open door for a variety of bank roles. And now, more women are attending a Graduate School of Banking than ever before and I AM HERE FOR IT!
However, women often have more obstacles to figure out when committing to a program like Graduate School of Banking. Most programs are 3-year commitments that involve a 2-week, in person session on a college campus miles away from their bank, family, and home. For some women, this can create the challenge of figuring out childcare, coordinating who can handle their bank duties in their absence, and possibly even alter their family planning! My boys are 6 years apart because of my attendance to GSBC. That was 100% my choice and I realize how was lucky I am that it all worked out according to my plan, but I know of several women who took breaks from their 3 year commitments or even dropped out of the program because, let’s be honest, maternity leave and banking school don’t always go well together.
The good news is that there are a variety of options when it comes to banking schools and likely one that fits your career and personal goals. After years of funneling questions for many women in banking about where to go, how to apply, and how to advocate to their boss for approval to attend, I have finally assembled the perfect resource page for all things Graduate School of Banking! While you browse the list below, consider following their social media accounts for additional information and engagement. When you apply, tell them the Girl Banker sent you!
Did you know that most state bank associations offer scholarships to bankers to attend various Graduate Schools of Banking? If you’re applying or approved to attend, be sure to check out your state’s scholarship opportunities. If selected, it not only saves your bank money but it is a great accolade to add to your resume!
Most of the schools listed below offer a variety of executive level development opportunities and alumni events that go well beyond graduation. Be sure to check out the podcasts associated with each school to learn more!
“The pace of change in banking is exponential. It is absolutely imperative to our future success and relevance in our own respective markets that we, as leaders in our banks, stay connected and continue to learn from one another. GSBC provides for that venue, and those conversations. To that end, GSBC is helping to ensure the vibrancy of community banking in our country.”
Christie Huber Obenauer
CEO/President, Union State Bank
GSBC was co-founded in 1950 with Colorado Bankers Association and University of Colorado Board of Regents and still conducts the annual session on the campus of the University of Colorado, in Boulder, CO. A true perk of attending GSBC is the proximity to many Rocky Mountain tourist attractions including white water rafting, hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, attending a Rockies Game in Denver, and of course all that Pearl Street has to offer.
“I chose Stonier not only for their stellar reputation as a graduate school but also for the partnership with Wharton that allows you to also work towards and receive leadership certification from a top notch business school. So the powerhouse of a top notch banking and business school combination I knew would be a winning combination to help me achieve my career goals. I continue to work with the program as a facilitator because I enjoy helping others learn and develop. Not to mention the relationships that are built with students, other faculty members, and other folks within the banking industry. “
VP | Lead Credit Risk Officer | Commercial Credit Administration
Stonier is partnered with the American Bankers Association and Wharton Executive Education.
Additionally, they have launched “Women of Stonier” a group within the ABA Stonier community to inspire women to further their personal and professional goals.
“I truly cannot recommend the Sales and Marketing School through GSB Madison enough. The curriculum is comprehensive and gives attendees practical sales and marketing takeaways that can be implemented at their financial institution right away. In addition, the instructors take their time to not only teach but listen to the real-world concerns of those attending and do try to share best practices during class. However, I believe the greatest asset attendees receive through this week-long school is the peer-to-peer networking. With the specialized nature of the course, you are able to get to know the other banking professionals within your class on a professional and personal level. Each and every classmate of mine provided insight, opportunity, and collaboration throughout the entire week and I have made connections with bankers from across the United States that I will be able to call upon long after we left the classroom.” –
2022 Sales & Marketing School Graduate
“SWGSB was a huge commitment for me and my organization. The 4:00 am research and writing sessions may not sound fun, but the skills obtained during the 3 years of course work and on-campus learning, ultimately positioned me to take the next step in my career. SWGSB exposed me to all aspects of leading a bank, not just one department. I’m grateful to my employer for supporting me and proud of myself for persevering through the commitment.”
Director of Lending and Community Investment, Arvest Bank
“I graduated from the Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS) in 2019. PCBS is a graduate-level banking school set at the picturesque Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. As a Community Banker, I learned from excellent faculty as well as my peers from all sizes of institutions. This has helped me to broaden my viewpoints, confidence, and horizons. One thing that stood out to me about PCBS was that they include two capstone programs every third-year student participates in; LEADERSIM and Bank Management Sim. These two Sims work hand-in-hand together to apply the leadership skills learned when challenges arise in the Management Sim. Both were fun, learning experiences as you are paired in teams and learn from each other as well as the instructors. Making contacts is a huge benefit to attending PCBS, I can reach out to my peers from across the US and can ask for help when researching a product, vendors, or when I need another viewpoint. I feel PCBS helped me to get to the next level in my banking career and has made me a more well-rounded banker as I learned all aspects of banking”
Ashley J King-Jones
Senior Vice President, Bank Operations
Three Rivers Bank of Montana