Building Career Awareness through Internships
American National Bank is excited to team up with the Empowerment Network for the 16th year of the Step-Up Omaha internship program while also preparing for college summer internships.
Since 2008, ANB has been a partner and sponsor to a unique and innovative internship program, Step-Up Omaha, that provides Omaha youth ages 14-21 with meaningful summer work, experiences and skills. Developed by the Empowerment Network, Step-Up Omaha was a natural extension of its overall mission—helping families build wealth, increasing home ownership, revitalizing neighborhoods, creating stronger, healthier families with access to food, care and support services, and preparing children to receive a high-quality education. The internship initiative has grown considerably over the years and companies and educational institutions across the city have stepped up to host the Step-Up interns.
Over our 16-year partnership with the Empowerment Network, ANB has hosted 61 interns, hiring around 15% beyond the summer programs. Patique Collins, ANB’s Recruitment and Career Development Manager, recently spoke with Omaha’s KETV as the application period for 2023’s program came to a close.
“Oh, we don’t want to go into banking!”
Patique was glowing as she told the story of two 2022 Step-Up interns who were recent high school graduates and twin sisters. “Oh, we don’t want to go into banking! We don’t think that’s really for us,” they told her as she presented them with an opportunity to intern at the bank. Patique acknowledged the bank is indeed constructed of exceptional bankers and financial gurus, but asked the sisters to still consider ANB because of the multitude of career paths within the organization. With a bit more convincing, the sisters spent the summer with us and in the end, were “so glad [Patique] talked us into it.” Both are exploring potential careers in business after the experience, something neither had considered before the program.
Doing more than making change
The prospects at a bank are not just about withdrawals and deposits. A bank needs talented people with IT, safety and security skills, human resources expertise, risk proficiency and even marketing prowess. From client support and small business banking to community relations and sales, a bank must rely on multiple disciplines to make it work.
“There are so many opportunities in banking, and it’s important that kids get to explore options and see the diverse backgrounds and disciplines within an industry they might have never thought about. It’s also important to learn skills like working in a professional environment, interacting with leaders and decision-makers, and gaining communication skills and cross-functional teamwork,” Collins said.
The experience isn’t just for the kids either. Organizations that host internships gain fresh perspectives, including energy that a young inquisitive mind brings, and the knowledge that supporting and mentoring the youth of today will make an impact on the leaders of tomorrow.
Calling all college students
While ANB’s Step-Up program focuses more on disadvantaged youth and high schoolers, ANB offers a separate internship program to any college student. Like the Step-Up interns, our college interns can expect to gain real-world experience and be exposed to the many disciplines that allow the bank to function and flourish. It’s a great chance for their next step in career development, building and broadening skills and contributing to a meaningful and collaborative work environment.
Applications for the Summer 2023 program will be accepted through April 1st.
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