Skip To Content

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Michael Villegas Ramos

Interview with ESL Bilingual Relationship Banker Michael Villegas Ramos

Traducción al español

October 2022

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, ESL invited employees to share some of the experiences in their career path. Join us in learning more about ESL Bilingual Relationship Banker Michael Villegas Ramos.

Tell us about your background, where you’re from, where you grew up, and what you like about the Greater Rochester area.

I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At the age of 15, my family decided to move back to the United States to the City of Rochester. I attended grades 9-12 at the International Finance Career High School at Franklin Campus where I obtained my high school diploma. I played four years of varsity baseball during my time there.

What I like about the Greater Rochester area is all the opportunities to do different things. There are so many opportunities for this city to grow because of all the festivals and events year-round and with four seasons to enjoy. I also love how we have a lot of amazing local restaurants with amazing foods!

Michael Villegas Ramos

What is your current role at ESL and what do you like about it?

My current role here at ESL is Bilingual Relationship Banker at our Chestnut Street location. What I love most about my job is that I get to help our members and educate them daily when it comes to financial needs. I get to help the Spanish speaking community because most of the members who come to me speak Spanish as their first language. I love how I can make them understand what banking is all about and how they can have someone to trust and come back to for help in whatever they need.

For how long have you been at ESL?

I started with ESL in October 2019 as a bilingual teller at the State Street branch location and was promoted to bilingual banker in September 2021 at the Chestnut Street branch where I am currently working.

What or who has helped you in your career path?

First, I want to thank God for allowing me to be where I am today. My family, especially my wife, Iris who has been my #1 supporter. She has always been there for me every step of the way always being supportive and being positive, always. My children Michael Jediel and Johnael for being one of my reasons to push myself to be better.

There have been many people that have helped me professionally to get me prepared to where I am today, especially in the financial industry. My managers and coworkers have been instrumental, especially here at ESL. I love how in this company If you don’t know the answer to a question that there is someone that you can always count on to help you, and if they don’t know the answer, they will work together to help you find the answer. So, I’d like to give a huge shout out to my ESL managers and coworkers, especially at Chestnut and State Street (now Lake Ave.)

Why do you think it’s important for companies to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month?

I think that it is important because it shows others what we value. It shows the highlight of our values and priorities. Our heritage helps us examine our history and our traditions and it enables us to develop an awareness about our culture. I believe that it is very important to celebrate not just Hispanic Heritage but also all cultures around the world. I love that ESL takes time to celebrate other cultures like Black History Month and Asian American Pacific Islander Awareness Month. Thank you, ESL, for doing that for all of us!

What else do you think is important for people to know?

I’m going to be honest in saying that coming into the financial industry I was a bit scared at first. But getting the opportunity to work in the financial industry, especially at a company like ESL has helped me understand what the financial industry is all about. Working for ESL helped me get to where I am today, especially when I didn’t have a lot of experience. Today, I can proudly say I have purchased my own home for me, and my family and I thank ESL for all the tips and resources they offer to the ESL community. Working is this field helped me understand and accomplish a goal I didn’t really see myself accomplishing.