Bellevue University and SunTrust Bank announced today that 32 employees successfully completed the Professional Banking and Operations Leadership (PBOL) learning program. Developed by Bellevue University and SunTrust Bank through its PATHways initiative, the learning program includes a curriculum customized to SunTrust Bank's business.
Offered exclusively to teammates of the company nationwide, SunTrust celebrated the first class of program completers via celebrations in four major U.S. cities this summer.
"The program is one of the education initiative investments we're making that demonstrates our commitment to helping our teammates succeed and grow professionally," said Ken Carrig, chief human resources officer at SunTrust Bank. "Providing our teammates with the tools and training to enhance their industry and financial services knowledge, as well as foster career development, helps us better serve our clients."
The two-year program yields in-depth banking knowledge and exposure to SunTrust's business. The custom-designed courses build company-specific knowledge and skills such as marketing, communications and the importance of the client experience.
Combining banking operational elements with the core tenets of leadership helps employees learn how to navigate through the complexities of today's business environment as well as prepare for future opportunities.
"I learned so much. It has changed the way I make decisions for what I do - for the shareholders. Now I understand why SunTrust management makes the decisions they do," said program completer Crystal Sheppard of Atlanta, Georgia.
"This has been a 'bucket list' item for a long time," said fellow program completer Dana Barry of Smyrna, Georgia. "I already had my associate's degree, so when this program came along it was the best opportunity for three reasons: To invest in myself and cross that off the list, to be a role model for my son, and to give back to SunTrust."
Employees who complete the program earn a Certificate of Completion and 36 college credits that they may elect to apply toward Bellevue University's Bachelor's Degree in Professional Banking and Operations Leadership.
"SunTrust Bank is a prime example of a company leading the way in talent management," said Michael E. Echols, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Bellevue University's Strategic Initiatives Division, the group that developed the custom learning program in tandem with subject matter experts and SunTrust Bank. "It is clear that from the top down, the bank's leadership understands the power of relevant education and an investment in your people. In our view, it's the best investment the bank - and individuals who want to grow in their careers - can make."
PATHways is open to all SunTrust teammates. Teammates from across SunTrust's footprint are among the graduates, and more than 120 SunTrust teammates are currently enrolled in the program. SunTrust offers tuition assistance that covers approximately 75 percent of the program's costs.