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A.J.'s Story

The real value of a job might just be the opportunities that come with it.

As a former football player and triathlete, A.J. Losoya finds it easy to reach for a sports metaphor to make a point about advancement opportunities at Columbia Bank.

“We’ve always been committed to building a strong bench.”

A strong bench means promotional opportunities from within for everybody throughout the organization. And A.J. should know.

“Columbia Bank brought me on as a teller right out of college, and in nine months I was offered the chance to enter a commercial training program. We’re proactive about growth and development, and I’m testament to that.”

A.J. ascended the company ladder to roles as a commercial loan officer, a branch manager, and eventually his current position as a senior vice president and regional retail manager.

Discovering what he really loved to do

“Even though I had a business degree, I had no inkling about being in banking. I thought I was going to be a teacher and football coach.”

But a new opportunity to work as a bank teller—known as a client service specialist (CSS) at Columbia Bank—changed his life.

“That was probably the best job ever. Having the opportunity to take care of the most important asset of the entire bank—people, not money—was something I discovered I really love to do.”

For A.J., it was satisfying to see just how much he could really do for people, from simplifying their lives to making their businesses more efficient. Yeah, a teller does that. And it was an experience that proved to be invaluable for A.J.

“It’s more than just customer service; I always talk about creating the experience. When that customer walks in the door, what is going to differentiate me or the bank from any other banking experience? That’s what it’s all about.”

Today’s “teller” is much more than just that

No wonder, then, that the word “teller” feels so antiquated to A.J. The position takes on much more responsibility than the word implies.

“Having worked on the front line, so to speak, I have an appreciation for the role, and that unique insight helps me help our branch leaders and CSS team members be more efficient both in terms of assisting clients and in moving our team members along rewarding career pathways.”

Growth and development are taken seriously at Columbia Bank, and CSS personnel are supported with individual training that reflects personal interests in new positions.

“We take an offensive mind-set when it comes to career development. Let’s get your foot in the door and then build a plan to take you farther—open other doors. When those new positions come open, we know we have people ready to go, ready to advance.”

Ready to come off the bench.

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