By Matt Montgomery
Josh Atkinson, assistant vice president at F&M Bank in Piedmont, recently completed the Oklahoma Bankers Association 2014 Intermediate School at the Harris Event Center in Oklahoma City.
He was among 31 students who attended the two-session school in February and June.
Atkinson, a loan officer with F&M, said he took the course to learn more about the all around workings of banking.
“I took the course to further my banking career,” Atkinson said. “You really learn how all aspects of the bank work, not just one department, but how all of those other departments work together.”
The OBA Intermediate School, conducted annually, prepares junior to mid-level bank officers and future officers, to serve effectively the needs of their banks and consumers.
The school Atkinson was enrolled in exposes students to a broad range of banking functions and issues, including economics, marketing, lending, investments, trust services, compliance and legal issues, bank financial analysis, ethics, human resource management, communications, strategic planning, regulatory examinations and asset/liability management.
In the two sessions Atkinson completed, he had two big projects he had to get finished between each session. He first completed a marketing project, then he had to complete a financial statement analysis project. Both projects required Atkinson to complete them individually.
Part of this course required him to complete a simulation where he had to set his own bank’s interest rates and all parameters one who runs a bank would have to do.
“It was very eye-opening to see all of the different aspects of how a bank runs and how one thing affects another,” he said.
One of the biggest lessons Atkinson said he learned from taking the course was the overall workings of a bank and how each part determines how a bank is run.
“It’s amazing to see what every department means to a bank,” he said. “And, how important each department is.”
Atkinson is originally from Elk City. In August, He will have been with F&M Bank in Piedmont for seven years, working as a loan officer.
He graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a bachelor’s of business administration finance degree and a minor in real estate.
After talking to senior management executives at F&M Bank and expressing the desire to further his knowledge of the banking industry, Atkinson decided the intermediate banking course would be right for him.
He said the next step for him would be a graduate school of banking.
The OBA conducts more than 70 educational programs and seminars each year, which reach more than 5,000 bankers across the state.
The association represents approximately 230 banks across the state and serves as the primary advocate for the banking industry.
It’s also heavily involved in fraud training and prevention as well as legal and compliance services and communications for its member banks.