Meet the Oakworth Summer Intern Associates

July 31, 2018, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

Alexander Mitchell

Alexander Mitchell

This summer at Oakworth I was able to truly be a part of the team and see all the different facets and roles of each department. Over the course of the internship I took on various projects and was given real responsibilities. In my first rotation I was able to dive into the three different financial statements paired with Moody’s Analytics software for asset base lending. This project was something that I found very interesting not only because I got to learn how the bank analyzes a client’s case for credit but also received hands on experience with how each particular business model works.  Another project I focused on was within the health sector specifically researching issues facing physician owned practices. With my research I got the chance to speak on the phone with an orthopedic surgeon and learned how he personally struggles with owning a private practice. This was an amazing experience where I not only learned more about the healthcare sector, but my findings were used by other managing directors in reaching out to similar clients.

With a lot of large banks, the CEO along with other senior executives do not interact with you. Oakworth is truly something special in that everyone views one another and each person’s opinions very highly regardless of what your title is within the company. At Oakworth I was able to attend almost every single meeting throughout all the departments and be exposed to a lot of discussions that a lot of other internship programs do not even come close to sitting in on.  The team mentality is evident with work flow meetings every week which everyone in the office attends and talk about objectives for the week and all the different things going on within the company. While my time was only ten weeks I learned that all the different facets of banking at Oakworth are designed to deliver a personal client experience which a lot of larger banks seem to have lost. My time this summer was overall one for the books. I took away an array of experiences and knowledge that will further me in my future career endeavors. Thank you Oakworth for this special opportunity!

Hometown: Huntsville, AL

School: University of Alabama

Major: Finance and Accounting

One fun fact about you: I have Australian citizenship

Hidden Talent: I can binge watch Netflix for 6 hours at a time.

What kind of superpower would you like to have? Teleportation

What do you hope to do in your professional career? I hope to become a registered CFA.

What do you like most about being a summer associate at Oakworth? I really enjoyed being able to be a part team and meeting with the CEO and all the senior executives. With most companies that is unheard of as an intern.

What is the most valuable thing you learned during your time at Oakworth? Going the extra mile for a client especially – when it comes to thoughtfulness and being proactive.

What was your favorite department during your rotation? Wealth

Favorite memory? Having in depth and over analytical hypothetical discussions in the Credit Department.

Lynn Keller

Cubicle Thoughts by a Summer Intern:

Lynn KellerDear readers,

I, Lynn Keller, write to you from my office cubicle that has housed me for the past ten weeks. These three “walls” have seen it all; they’ve seen challenges and intellectual breakthroughs. They’ve seen neighboring strangers become friends and skilled professionals become mentors. They’ve seen a rising college Junior learn to speak up and ask the necessary questions to succeed at a task and learn to pick the brains of the individuals who have developed a name that is of the highest repertoire. Lessons and learning aside, they’ve seen the laughter and joy of the people who call it a privilege to work at Oakworth and they’ve seen my ordinary perception of a bank become transformed by a vibrant and engaging community.

I could write about the numerous ways Oakworth has intellectually challenged and impacted me, such as the critical analyzations of loan committee meetings or taking on projects and having to develop them from the ground up. I could write about the challenge of taking inefficient reporting systems and revamping them into excel or about the rotational design where I was shown the interconnected departments and how they work as a team. I could continue to write about all these learning opportunities but ultimately any internship will leave you with an array of intellectual knowledge and that isn’t what sets Oakworth apart.

What distinguishes Oakworths’ internship is its ability to bring a group of four foreigners into such a unique and diverse community, seamlessly. We worked and we worked hard this summer but we didn’t sit alone in a cubicle that states, “Intern cubicle: give busy work here.”  We were a part of the discussion and our voice was valued. In reality, I’ve only scratched the surface of the financial world but where I fall incredibly short is where these professionals have stepped in. Time and time again, the willingness to sit with me and critically look at something I don’t understand has proven meaningful. The biggest lessons have come from the ad hoc hour-long reflections after a meeting or project, as listening has proven to be my greatest resource.

The walls that house Oakworth don’t make up or create the cultural atmosphere that lives here, instead it’s the community made up by the people. It’s the easiest thing in the world to have a cubicle filled office where isolation is the norm and people work for the sole benefit of themselves; that’s easy and unfortunately the corporate norm, but that’s not Oakworth. The associates and interns here are treated in a way that cultivates a healthy environment, where making Oakworth function creatively and competitively is a joy. Associates, clients and even I, just an intern, believe in the brand. Not often does the modern world house a bank that truly does “redefine financial services” and being even just a minor part of that makes me incredibly honored. Thank you Oakworth!

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

School: Samford University

Major: Accounting

One fun fact: I traveled to eight countries last semester

Hidden talent: Interior design  

Superpower: Invisibility, no doubt

Professional aspiration: Something where I can be creative but still crunch numbers. I would love to work behind the scenes of a creative brand.

Favorite thing about being a summer associate: Learning from the senior leadership team

Most valuable thing I learned: “Stay humble and celebrate the little victories, but never become complacent and satisfied”

Favorite department: Accounting, but I loved the creativity and atmosphere of Solutions Group

Favorite memory:  The “would you rather” questions discussed at length in the Credit department

Nathan Nix

How to Bank the Right Way

Nathan NixMy name is Nathan Nix and I am from Birmingham, AL. I am a student at the University of Alabama studying Finance and Accounting. Over the past ten weeks of the summer I have been working with associates in every department of Oakworth Capital Bank. My title at Oakworth has been a Summer Intern Associate. As I was looking for a job/internship this summer, I thought of Oakworth right away. Oakworth Capital has been making a mark on the city of Birmingham, and I had heard only good things about it from people throughout the community. Oakworth is known for the high level of service and the success that it has had while providing this service. I have followed Oakworth over the past few years and was always really impressed with the service and the people involved. I was so excited to experience all these things first hand through the internship.

I knew that going in to an internship I was going to learn a lot about the company and all the moving parts inside of it. I never would have expected the people here to be so hands on. I just didn’t think that adults in a working environment would be willing to take time out of their busy work schedule to talk to some college kid. I have to say after my first day, going through the building and meeting everyone, I knew that all the associates were genuinely excited about having us. Talk about a fun and encouraging work place to be in every day. Oakworth associates are some of the most caring professionals I have ever seen. Every single one of the associates has awesome character and is always willing to lend a helping hand. Due to the fantastic associates this internship was as good as it could have been. Everyone here was ready to give the interns new projects and keep them learning things every day. Not only were they eager to give us assignments but that were even more eager to help us when we needed it. During my time at Oakworth I rotated through every department within the bank. In each department I was tasked with many projects. Not only was I given projects but I also got to shadow associates and experience first-hand what they do on a daily basis. I cannot fail to mention that it wasn’t all work and shadowing, but there were many fun events included. Oakworth was kind enough to treat us to a Birmingham Barons game, lunch/dinners, TopGolf, and even a crawfish boil hosted by Sam Scalici. My time at Oakworth was so much fun and I took so much away from it. I look forward to staying in touch with the associates and watching the bank continue to do great things.

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

School: The University of Alabama

Major: Finance and Accounting

One fun fact about you: I am a Twin

Hidden Talent: Above average at table tennis

What kind of superpower would you like to have? The ability to fly

What you hope to do in your professional career? Work for a financial institution in private banking.

What do you like most about being a summer associate at Oakworth? Being part of the culture and meeting the associates.

What is the most valuable thing you learned during your time at Oakworth? I would have to say that learning to be flexible and adapt to your surroundings has been a very valuable lesson.

What was your favorite department during your rotation? My favorite department was private banking.

Wei Chee Chen

The Path to Oakworthiness through a Unique Internship Experience

Wei Chee ChenBaron’s game, crawfish boil, Topgolf… Those aren’t the typical activities you get to do at an internship. Did I mention the food? Oakworth Capital Bank and its associates took us to so many restaurants, which even as a native of the city, I was unaware of. Birmingham is definitely an amazing area to work and live in which is one of the many lessons I’ve learned by working for Oakworth. My time at Oakworth Capital Bank has given me a new appreciation for the city I grew up in and always wanted to leave.

I was born in Birmingham and went to Vestavia Hills High School. Currently, I’m a Carolina Covenant Scholar and student-athlete at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I work part-time in the IT department at our Business School. I’m involved with Carolina Women in Business, Undergraduate Finance Society, and UNC’s Athletic Leadership Academy. The rotational internship program focused on four aspects of the bank: credit, finance & accounting, wealth management, and banking/treasury. I loved how we went through all of the different departments because I was able to see so many different roles, and how the roles fit together and help the bank function as a whole. It was almost as if I was able to see every single individual puzzle piece put together to form the whole picture.

During my time at credit, I’ve been able to spread different financials such as financial statements or tax returns for the credit analysts, calculated DTI (debt-to-income) ratios, generate a global cash flow, and attended loan committees. At finance and accounting, I played a major role with doing the accounts payable for both weeks, totaling up to around 75 invoices. I worked directly with the CFO to develop an Excel monitoring tool and checklist for compliance with the bank’s policies. The monitoring tool will be reviewed consistently by the executive leadership of Oakworth. In wealth management, I completed a research project about family offices from a marketing standpoint for the bank, and I helped organize a project to send out all of the client’s IRA disclaimers. Finally, in banking/treasury, I researched potential clients and businesses for the bank in the Birmingham area.

Not only was I able to learn about specific roles in banking, I was able to learn about Oakworth’s purpose and values. It’s not typical for a bank to know the names of their clients when they walk into the lobby, but Oakworth does, and they even handwrite cards for their clients. Every associate at the Bank demonstrated the core values such as the golden rule and professionalism, which is a difficult task especially at the rate the bank is growing. Simultaneously, I’ve been able to develop so many different skills while learning how important it is for the company’s associates to follow the core values. I’ve discovered how the people do really make or break your time working for a company because you spend around 8-9 hours a day with them. All in all, the bank exceeded my expectations, and I’m proud to be part of their first internship program.

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Finance

One fun fact: I have been fencing for 10 years.

Hidden talent: I can throw a nice spiral with a football

What kind of superpower would you like to have? Teleportation because it’d save so much time, and I could visit all of my friends and family.

What you hope to do in your professional career? I hope to continue to work in banking

What do you like most about being a summer associate at Oakworth? Meeting such talented, nice, and intelligent people

What is the most valuable thing you learned during your time at Oakworth? Don’t be afraid to ask any questions because people are always willing to help. If you don’t ask, you may miss an opportunity to learn something valuable.

What was your favorite department during your rotation? Credit because I could incorporate my schoolwork into the work at the bank.

Favorite memory? The crawfish boil because I was able to experience a wonderful part of southern culture while playing basketball with associates.