Name: Kate Gibbons.
Lives: Bandon, County Cork.
Job title: Bank Manager, Clonakilty EBS.
Education background: Degree in Equine Science and Degree in Business Management.
Hobbies: Horse riding and running.
Describe your job in five words: Challenging, varied, engaging, rewarding and motivating.
Describe yourself in five words: Outgoing, personable, dedicated, ambitious and energetic.
Personality needed for this kind of work: Sociable, action-orientated, approachable and responsible.
How long are you doing this job? Two years.
How did you get this job? I finished school in Sligo in 2006 and studied Equine Science in the University of Limerick, part of my course included business modules and it was here I discovered my flair for business.
Upon completion of my degree I began working in Dublin on a temporary contract for AIB and EBS in data entry and it was here that I was encouraged to do my banking exams.
I then secured permanent employment with KBC, working in various back office departments, gaining experience in all areas of banking.
Through an education scheme I returned back to the Institute of Sligo part-time and completed my degree in business Management. I spent four years with KBC before moving to West Cork and securing a position with EBS Clonakilty.
I was working as a Savings and Investment Advisor and assisting in mortgages and Business Development. I was then promoted to Bank Manager where I currently manage mortgages and business development for the branch.
Do you need particular qualifications or experience? Yes, you need to be a QFA — Qualified Financial Advisor.
Describe a day at work: Every day we aim to facilitate people with their dream homes and everything in between such as savings and investments and general banking.
Every day is varied but in EBS Clonakilty we are very focused on the customer so we encourage meetings with all our customers and offer them a face to face personal service. This means every day we have appointments for various products and reasons.
As our phone lines are direct to ourselves, we deal with as many calls and queries at local level as possible.
All of our mortgage customers are looked after directly by the advisor, from submission to the completion of the sale /self-build.
On a daily basis I could be engaging with the credit department, submitting applications, working with various bodies for the issuing of funds or just dealing with general queries and bodies involved in the mortgage process.
As with any financial institution, there is a strong emphasis on compliance, which I also sign off and assist on.
I offer a mobile mortgage service so I could also be travelling to meet with customers anywhere about a potential application.
How many hours do you work a week? Varied.
What do you wear to work? Office wear.
Is your industry male or female dominated? I think gender is quite balanced in the financial sector, however management roles are currently more male-dominated.
Does this affect you in any particular way? No, it has never prevented me from progressing my career and I have always found my peers accommodating, helpful and very supportive.
EBS provides education support to all members who wish to join and complete exams with the Institute of Bankers. This allows both men and women to obtain the necessary qualifications to progress their careers.
My own tied agent fully supports me joining groups such as West Cork Women’s Business Network and is very open to listening and considering any ideas I have for the business.
Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10: At times my job can be stressful, particularly when working on a tight deadline for a customer to close the purchase of a property, but it is always worth it and I am very lucky to have a strong support network in EBS. Scale 5.
Do you work with others or on your own? I work as part of a wider branch network, and at branch level we have a team of four.
When do you plan to retire or give up working? I’m only getting started!
Best bits: I really enjoy building relationships with customers and helping people with their mortgages, be it self-build which we specialise in, or buying a home.
Worst bits: The level of paperwork, although necessary, can be very time-consuming.
Advice to those who want your job? Get as much experience in all areas of banking as possible and if the opportunity presents itself try to shadow as many different banking professionals as possible.
As soon as you begin your banking career begin your QFA banking Exams.