Our final Intern Spotlight features 13 dynamic, motivated and determined students that we had the pleasure of working with this summer. Read their stories as they share their passion, interests and lessons they’ve learned this summer at Mercantile Bank.
Jasmine is a junior at Winthrop University majoring in Finance. Her position as a Loan Operations Intern has encouraged her come out of her shell, and step out of her comfort zone. Meeting her new team members helped her gain confidence and she has enjoyed learning from people who have been in her position in the past. A fun fact about Jasmine is that she was born on a military base.
Liam attends Arizona State University. As a Commercial Loan Operations Intern this summer, he gained valuable real-world experience by working cohesively with his support team. He learned the importance of working effectively and efficiently on time sensitive reports. He also gained a new perspective on evaluating situations in a banking environment. A fun fact about Liam is that he can run a mile in 5 Minutes and 3 second—now that’s fast!
Christina is a junior at Western Michigan University working on a degree in Human Resources Management. She joined Mercantile as a Commercial Loan Operations intern. During her internship she was able to gain valuable knowledge on how technology plays a role in banking. She also enjoyed taking part in the Grand Opening of our new Portage office. Christina is also an accomplished musician, she had the opportunity to play flute in concert band for 6 years!
Anna is a recent graduate from Kalamazoo College with a degree the Mathematics and Computer Science. During her time as an Audit department intern she learned how the branches interact with many different departments to run more efficiently. She appreciated how everyone was so willing to help answer questions and solve problems whenever possible. Anna had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland for four months.
Nikki is a junior at Grand Valley State University studying Advertising, Public Relations and Marketing. She spent this summer as an intern in the Card Services department. In addition to learning all the ways that Mercantile can help their customers with great products, she was able to use her classroom studies when she participated in a Marketing project. Nikki is looking forward to finishing her degree and the opportunity to indulge her love of animals but adopting a pug in the future!
Sydney is a sophomore at Central Michigan University studying Social Work. She spent her summer as an intern in the Mortgage Loan Processing department, where she was known as “Syd the Kid”. Sydney was able to jump in and really help the team from day one. She enjoyed the opportunity to learn all that goes into getting a mortgage. She hopes that her intern experiences will help her in the future when she looks to purchase a home of her own.
Elizabeth is a junior studying Human Resources and Finance at Grand Valley State University. She was able to apply her classroom studies to her summer internship as she worked with the Human Resources team. Elizabeth played a valuable role in the department by helping to maintain employee files, communicating with new hire candidates and creating orientation packets. She feels this internship has provided her with a great foundation to excel in her future career path. As an avid runner, she has a goal of running a marathon before graduating from college!
Darryl is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University with his degree in Finance. This summer he had the opportunity to work as an intern with the Mortgage team. Not only did he learn about some of the processes associated with mortgages, he also gained insight on the overall operations of the banking industry. His supervisors encouraged him to work hard each day and that in-turn gave him the motivation to learn more and appreciate his team. Darryl is a self-described astronomy geek, and a great dancer!
Gabriel is a sophomore attending Kennesaw State University studying Political Science. His summer internship with the Property Management department provided Gabriel with insight on many different aspects of the Bank. He had the opportunity to work on a property tax project for his team and spent time gathering data and doing research. One of the most valuable insights has been the importance of time management and balancing work and personal time. Gabriel is also interested in designing furniture in the future.
Victor is a senior attending Alma College studying Business Administration. As an intern in the Marketing department this summer, Victor learned about many functions of the bank. Through his involvement in an intern organized community project, he had the opportunity to realize the importance a community bank plays in the community around it. He enjoyed working on projects such as writing blog posts, and organizing large mailing projects. Victor enjoys learning to play guitar and hopes to improve his skills in the future.
Sanchay is a freshmen studying Finance and Computer Science at Grand Valley State University. Sanchay had the opportunity to work in the Deposit Operations department this summer. During this internship program he learned a lot about all the different operations that go on inside the bank. He really enjoyed the chance to work in a professional setting which is a bit of a change from his previous retail job experience. Sanchay also enjoys playing tennis at GVSU.
George is a senior at the University of Utah studying Finance and Spanish. “Jeep” as he’s known as to his friends, worked as a Mortgage Clerk intern this summer. Helping the disclosure department to run smoothly by working on e-signed disclosures, creating disclosure reports, and working with mortgage applications gave him the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of how the mortgage process works right through to the closing. Through this internship, he feels confident that this is an industry he could definitely pursue after graduation.
Joseph attends Grand Valley State University and worked this summer as a Commercial Loan Operations intern. He assisted the department in becoming more digital by uploading and organizing files to our online database. One important thing he learned from this experience is the importance of taking care of personal finance. With good personal finance, working with the bank becomes much easier. Joseph is also one of few people who can say that he’s hit a hole-in-one on the golf course!
It was a great summer with all of our interns. All of us at Mercantile Bank wish you all great success with your future plans! Have a great year!
Written By Victor Sosa | Marketing Intern
We bring you another installment of the Intern Spotlight! This week we have 8 featured interns who have different backgrounds and life experiences, but are all developing real-world job experience and skills to help them succeed in the future.
Brooke Harper is a sophomore at Grand Valley State University majoring in Marketing and minoring in Studio Art. She is a Branch Support Intern and her most memorable moment at Mercantile was when she took a trip to City Hall where all interns learned about the LEAD program. She believes the LEAD program is an awesome way to prepare young students for college and the workforce. As a teller last summer she had some experience with transactional-banking processes. She now understands how much more goes on within a bank. A fun fact about Brooke is that she high jumped on her high school’s track and field team for about 6 years. Now that’s commitment!
K’Mari Johnson is a junior and majoring in Finance. He is a Commercial Loan Operations Intern. One of his biggest take aways from this internship is the importance of setting a good example for those around him, because you never know when someone is watching. He has learned the importance of having connections in a business setting and the importance of customer service as a whole. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his friends and family.
Abigail is a senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in Management of Information Systems (MIS). She is a Deposits Operations Intern and hopes this work experience will allow her to gain a better understanding of her MIS degree. She also learned that it’s never a bad idea to ask for more information or to ask a supervisor for advice. A fun fact about Abigail is that she is a third degree black belt in Karate.
Jalin is a sophomore at Western Michigan University double majoring in Accounting & Entrepreneurship and minoring in Finance. He is a Commercial Loan Operations Intern and his most memorable moment as an intern is when he wore the Earnie the Otter mascot suit at the Grand Opening of the new Portage location. Jalin owns his own clothing line for Men and Women called Power Moves Only LLC. Check it out!
Justin is a freshman at Loyola University majoring in Finance and minoring in Sociology. He is a Commercial Loans Intern and one of the biggest take aways from this experience is that he’s improved his time management skills. He better understands the importance of being responsible with your time and with all of his tasks he’s been forced to use his time effectively. Justin grew up in Oakland, California and he hopes to go back one day and help out the community.
Samuel is a senior at Grand Valley State University double majoring in Finance and Accounting. He is a Commercial Loans Intern and one of the things he has learned is there are many steps involved in creating the best possible customer experience. He believes this experience will be a great reference when he is looking to secure a job post-graduation. A fun fact about Samuel is that he is a Michigan Football fan and a Michigan State Basketball fan. Go Green? Or Blue?
Devin Moore is a junior at Yale University majoring in Environmental Studies. He is a Branch Support Intern. He has had a major impact in his department by being one of 3 interns who helped work a yard sale that got extra supplies to other branches. He believes Mercantile will be a great resume builder and great experience for his future employment. A fun fact about Devin is that his favorite ice cream flavor is blue moon.
Makenna is a senior at Hillsdale College majoring in Financial Management. She is a Commercial Loans Intern. Her most memorable moment as an intern was attending the lunch and learn on bitcoin. She found the presentation to be fascinating and it sparked some interest and ongoing conversation in her office. Attending meetings with Treasury Sales Officers really provided her with a lot of knowledge about banking in general. A fun fact about Makenna is that she has two dogs and enjoys traveling!
Stay tuned for the next installment of our Intern Spotlight!
Written by Victor Sosa | Marketing Intern
Welcome back to our intern spotlight. Interns are in full swing with their work, projects, and volunteering. Let’s meet a few more!
Maria Acosta is a sophomore at Western Michigan University and is majoring in Accounting. She is a Card Services Intern and her most memorable moment was at the Steve Smith Golf Outing where she connected with a lot of people and created wonderful memories with her colleagues. A fun fact about Maria is she wants to explore more countries in Europe and wants to travel the world.
Allison Fike is a junior at Loyola University majoring in Accounting and Minoring in Finance. She is an Accounting Intern. She has learned how a bank’s day to day operations impact businesses and each branch. This knowledge will help her bring a different perspective to any future employment. She enjoys running in her spare time and is currently training to run the Chicago Marathon in October.
Brandon Fuller is a junior at Hope College double majoring in Economics and Mathematics. As a Mortgage Clerk Intern he’s learned a great deal about the mortgage process and specific products Mercantile offers. His biggest take away is realizing that the banking world is more lively and energetic than he envisioned, he didn’t realize the creativity and strategic thinking involved. For Brandon a guilty pleasure meal consists of a nice cup of green beans with a strawberry mango cooler from Culver’s.
Corey Gilmer is a senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in Finance. He is a Mortgage Clerk Intern and he’s learned just how complex banking can be; especially within the mortgage department. His most memorable moment thus far is when he was learning how to fax and received an email with a quote of Michael Scott from The Office saying “Fax? Why not just send it over on a dinosaur?” He found it even more hilarious when the email was marked as important. Corey is appreciating the time he has left in college and sometimes feels nostalgic about it.
Austin Gregory will be finishing his bachelor degree in Accounting at the end of summer at Northwood University and plans to attend graduate school there as well. As a Mortgage Clerk Intern, he’s learned a great deal about overdraft protection and how to close out loans. His understanding on banking has tremendously increased working as an intern. A fun fact about Austin is that he is the all-time leading scorer of the Ionia basketball program—Impressive!
Stay Tuned for our next installment of the Intern Spotlight!
From June through August 2018, 32 summer interns will be experiencing what it is like to be part of Mercantile Bank of Michigan. Interns are challenged with many projects, meetings, and tasks such as putting together presentations or sharing thoughts with their departments. Attending workshops is also an integral part of this experience. Topics vary from diversity training to developing networking skills. All in all, the program is filled with opportunities for growth and advancement. Misti Stanton, coordinator of the internship program sets the bar high for each intern; “I give you 150% and I expect the same in return at all times.” All of this makes this internship special, challenging and rewarding. Each week we will introduce you to a few of the interns and learn what each has to say about their experience being part of the Mercantile team.
Amari Brown is a sophomore at Hope College double majoring in Sociology and Social Work with a minor in Political Science. She joined the Human Resource team as an intern working directly under Misti Stanton, Diversity and Inclusion officer. Amari hopes this experience gives her the tools necessary to navigate her future career. A fun fact about Amari is that she enjoys participating in pageants. They have helped her tremendously with her communication skills and learning to be comfortable with who she is.
Kristin Cebelak is a sophomore at Ferris State University, who joined Mercantile as a Treasury Sales Intern. Her biggest take away from this internship is that a positive attitude is extremely important. She states that “A person can go far with a positive attitude and willingness to learn in the workplace”. She has done tasks such as data mining and analyzing of information to further assist treasury sales officers. In her spare time, she enjoys boating on Lake Michigan with family and is an avid game and movie enthusiast.
Michael Crenshaw, a sophomore at Michigan State University majoring in Finance, was selected as a Commercial Loans Intern. Crenshaw has learned a great deal about lending during his time at Mercantile. His biggest take away from this internship is the value of versatility in commercial lending. He says being a commercial lender requires one to have extraordinary people skills. Crenshaw not only cares a lot about the ins and outs of finance but, he has also watched every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie except Thor: Dark World—impressive!
Justin Cutts is a junior at Alma College double majoring in Health Care Administration and Public Health. As a Retail Loan Operations Intern, he feels that having Mercantile Bank on his resume can be an attention grabber towards his future employment. He believes all work is important for the success of the team so he does his part so others can narrow down their focus. Justin plays college football and couldn’t be more thrilled to lace up his cleats and put on his football pads as he gets closer to the start of his football season Go Scots!
Zachary DeVries, a senior at Calvin College majoring in Accounting and minoring in Economics, was selected as a Real Estate Valuation Risk Intern. He feels this internship experience has helped him grow professionally, and so far he feels he has learned a great deal about office etiquette and other professional aspects that go along with working at a bank. DeVries’ biggest take away thus far has been how much he has learned about the banking industry as a whole. A fun fact about Zachary is he is afraid of snakes more than any other animal. He has been swimming with stingrays and sharks in the ocean, but nothing frightens him more than snakes. He says he is basically Indiana Jones.
Glory Emmanuel, a senior at Calvin College double majoring in Accounting and Economics, was selected to be a Commercial Loan Operations Intern. He feels delighted to learn how eager his co-workers and supervisors were to teach him everything he needs to know and more. One of his most memorable moments thus far is when interns took a trip to the city’s office in Grand Rapids. He was pleased to see the efforts the city is making to educate other students about college and post college life as well as their youth development programs. A fun fact about Glory is he has spent most of his life living between Nigeria and the United States. Now that’s a lot of traveling!
Stay tuned for our next installment of the Intern Spotlight!
Helping fill the needs of people in our local communities is one of the most important things we do. Nikki Biermann, Branch Manager at our West Branch M76 office spearheaded a volunteer event for the Mobile Food Pantry – Food Bank of Eastern Michigan at the First United Methodist Church in West Branch. Volunteers from the Bank along with local Boy Scouts and people from the congregation helped to unload the semi, sort the food, and then distribute it to over 260 individuals. Nikki uncovered the need through her involvement with Boy Scouts and put together a group of volunteers to help. Thank you Nikki, Alan, Shantel, Karen, Bennie, Steve, Alta, Kayla and Debbie for your commitment to the community of West Branch!
It was a great start to our 2016 Giving Together Program! We enhanced our program in several ways, doubling the number of organizations who can compete for votes from 10 to 20, and adding a 2nd and 3rd place winner. We just wrapped up our first voting period focusing on Schools and Education and are happy to announce our winners:
$5,000 1st Place Winner- Holt Public Schools (Holt, MI)
$1,500 2nd Place Winner: Calvin Christian Schools (Grandville, MI)
$500 3rd Place Winner: Ogemaw Kids Club (West Branch, MI)
It was a fun week of voting and we’d like to thank all of the schools and non-profit organizations that participated. You are all winners in our book!
The next application period begins on May 23 and continues through June 27. The focus for this period is Community & Economic Development. Non-profit organizations can apply at www.MercantileGivingTogether.com. The selected organizations will be announced on July 8 and voting will be the week of July 18-25th. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates throughout the year!
Article Written By: Bob Kaminski| President & CEO| Mercantile Bank of Michigan
Giving back to the communities we serve has always been a priority to us at Mercantile Bank. We are honored to once again be rated as “Outstanding” by the FDIC in our Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination.
The CRA is a law that requires banks to help meet the credit needs of their communities for housing and other purposes, particularly in neighborhoods with low or moderate incomes, while maintaining safe and sound operations. An “Outstanding” rating is the highest available ranking and one which only about 5% of all banks achieve. We are proud of the fact that this is the third consecutive time we’ve received this rating, meaning that we’ve had nine years of “Outstanding” ratings.
The “Outstanding” rating is based on our performance in lending, investments and services, focusing on areas such as mortgages, small business, and community development lending and services. Our CRA evaluation made specific references to our strengths in lending, including our responsiveness to credit needs, and geographic distribution of small business and home mortgage loans throughout low and moderate income areas in the markets we serve.
We believe that this rating is the result of the hard work and dedication of our employees, who year after year contribute and invest in the communities where we live and work. To this end, we are consistently looking for ways to build stronger relationships with our community partners by providing accessible banking and lending services in all of the communities we serve.