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.
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.