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!
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!
Mercantile Bank interns Maddie Hugen and David Schroeder took on the task of creating a video that would give an overview of their experience at Mercantile Bank. They collaborated with fellow Merc interns throughout Michigan to create this video showcasing their collective experience.
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.
Article Written By: Cordell Zachery | Commercial Loan Operations Intern | Mercantile Bank of Michigan
As an incoming Senior at Grand Valley State University I’ve completed a variety of internships and worked a handful of jobs. As my undergraduate career is coming to an end, planning for post graduate life is now my top priority. Acing classes, making connections, and finding my niche within an organization are my main goals for my final year. This mindset is what steered me to Mercantile Bank.
Towards the end of my Junior year I came in contact with Don Williams a former member of Mercantile’s Board of Directors. With his guidance I interviewed with Mercantile Bank for a summer internship with the Commercial Loan Operations Department and shortly after I was offered the position.
From day one of the internship I knew that it was going to be different from my previous work experiences. The day was dedicated to training all of the interns where we learned about the bank’s values and structure, professional development skills, and went on a tour of the bank’s main branch. We even got to chat with the bank’s president!
The day after training I met the employees from the departments that I’d be working with. Each employee in the department was vibrant and welcoming. My supervisors really made me feel as though my task within the organization helped with the bank’s success. This feeling of actually making an impact as an intern is something that Mercantile Bank strongly values. Not once have I felt like a “cog in the machine”.
A unique part of Mercantile’s internship program is the experience outside of the office. Misti Stanton, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, makes it her duty to make sure that we not only develop connections within the bank but outside as well. In June Misti brought the interns to an event with the ADA called the “Father of The Year Awards” held at JW Marriot. During this event we were able to network with various professionals from Grand Rapids, learned a few pointers on dinner etiquette, and enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal. This is only one of the many professional events we’ve attended. Being around these professionals motivated me to attend numerous networking and skill building events around Grand Rapids and at every event I can say that I’ve made a connection with a new person.
Another facet of Mercantile that I didn’t expect to get from my internship was the openness of employees to be a mentor and a friend. Whenever being around Don Williams he greets you with a warm smile and then gives you some tips or past experiences that contain a take away for you to use within your life. Also, I’ve been able to learn from departments other than mine as well. As an Advertising & PR major I was very interested in what the Marketing Department’s functions were. Monica Kreiger and Zach Roth both took time out of their day to meet with me. I learned about their strategies, use of social media, commercial making, and more.
As an intern here at Mercantile Bank I can truly say that I’ve had one of the best experiences as an up and coming professional in Grand Rapids. Within Mercantile’s mission statement it states that the organization maintains an “environment of growth and development” and I’ve seen that first hand. Not only do I learn new things every day about the inner workings of Mercantile but I also improve daily on my professionalism and transferable skills that I can use in any field that I choose to go into. Here at Mercantile you have your best experiences outside of your cubical.
Mercantile Bank is pleased to welcome our 2015 Summer Interns!
They are working in various capacities from Human Resources to Branch Support and IT. Interns are working in several locations throughout the Bank and we are very excited to have this great group of young professionals join us this summer!
In addition to offering these students real world experience and the opportunity to explore a potential career path in banking, internships are also a great way to increase professional networks and enhance their resumes. Investing in the next generation is an important part of strengthening the communities we serve.
Article Written By: Bob Worthington | SVP, General Counsel & Risk Management Director | Mercantile Bank of Michigan
Entrepreneurship has been a trademark of the State of Michigan since its founding back in 1835. The Fords, the Dows, the Kelloggs, the Meijers are just a few of the men and women who have contributed to our legacy of innovation and development. But if history has taught us anything, it teaches that each generation must build upon the generation that came before it.
Junior Achievement has taken on the challenge of building the next generation of entrepreneurs and Mercantile Bank is proud to support them. Junior Achievement’s volunteer-delivered, kindergarten-12th grade programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential. With the help of more than 1,600 local volunteers, JA students develop the skills they need to experience the realities and opportunities of work and entrepreneurship in the 21st-century global marketplace.
Mercantile Bank believes the future is bright for the State of Michigan and it is organizations like Junior Achievement that are making it happen. If you are interested in becoming a Junior Achievement volunteer sign up at www.juniorachievement.org. We hope you will join us in building the next generation.