By Gary Haber
York Daily Record, Pa.
Claudette Mack didn’t take a straight line to get into banking.
Mack’s original career plan was to become a registered nurse. But she changed gears after meeting a woman who worked for Wells Fargo. The woman told Mack that banking offers career opportunities for women and that Wells Fargo looks to recruit women and people from diverse backgrounds.
That sounded good to Mack, who speaks Spanish and whose parents were born in Guatemala.
Mack signed on with Wells Fargo, joining the bank in 2010 as a credit manager. She worked her way up to running a branch in Monroe County.
In July, Wells Fargo promoted Mack to district manager.
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At 24, she oversees nine branches in York and Cumberland counties and supervises 92 employees.
We caught up by phone with the Cumberland County resident to talk about her rise up the ranks at Wells Fargo and about banking as a career.
Q: What’s a typical day like for you?
A: My day starts at 5 a.m. and ends around 7 p.m. I do a daily conference call with the other branch managers at 8:15 a.m….I have nine branches and I try to visit each of them at least once a week — at least two a day. I’ve been in this role about three months and I’ve put on about 6,000 miles on my car. I have offices in Camp Hill and York but I rarely see them because I’m pretty much housed out of my vehicle.
Q: How did you get on this fast track?
A: When I was a [branch] manager my boss put me on a leadership track and I learned communications, strategic leadership and public speaking.
Q: Is banking a good field for a college student to consider?
A: A lot of times people say you must be great at math or have a finance degree, but the truth is math was never my strongest subject…The courses that helped me the most were my psychology courses because it’s a people business. You want to understand how to work with and motivate people. I think a good combination would be a finance degree with a minor in psychology because you’re talking to people about how to invest and save.
Q: Some people talk about how with online banking, fewer customers are visiting branches. What’s been your experience?
A: A lot of the younger generation is using online services and mobile deposit and they get direct deposit at work so they’re not coming in to cash checks. But there are employers who don’t offer direct deposit and we have some customers who may be uncomfortable doing things online. There’s a lot of foot traffic in our branches.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: The thing I like most is helping coach my team members to grow.
Q: What’s your career goal?
A; Maybe become an area president [with Wells Fargo], doing what I’m doing on a larger scale.