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What's it Like to Work as an ESL Summer Student?

Summer 2021

Each year, ESL welcomes numerous college students to work across many different departments including nine of our branches, and our Consumer Lending, Loan Servicing, Marketing Communications, Member Service Support, and Payment Operations Support departments. As their internships wrapped up, we asked them each a series of questions about their experience with ESL, and the learnings uncovered through their answers are truly profound.

A big thanks to Colin, Dominic, Kanika, Lindsay, Marco, Nick, Ryan, Serafina, Tammy, Taylor, and Thomas for sharing your views about your summer at ESL.

What did you know about banking before your internship? What did you know about ESL?

Many students shared an unfamiliarity with banking and ESL when they started but it didn’t take long for them to dive right in!

“I didn’t know very much about banking before my internship! I only had limited knowledge from my accounting and finance classes. Regarding ESL, I only knew that they offer savings and checking accounts. I had no idea what would go into being a teller. In the time that I have been here, I have learned so much about banking and ESL.” –Serafina, Long Pond Branch

“I understood the basic understanding of how a bank operates and conducts business, as well as have taken several classes that have been about or have touched on the banking industry. Before my internship I knew ESL was a top credit union nationally, and had just recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary of the company.” –Marco, Mortgage Lending

“While I had a general idea of how banks work, I was still relatively unaware of all the different things they do on a day-to-day basis.” –Danny, Member Service Support

“I did not know much about the behind the scenes of banking, only general concepts from university courses. I also did not know much about ESL because I did not grow up in Rochester but I did know that they were a major financial institution in the area and held a good reputation.” –Dominic, Consumer Lending - Indirect

“I knew a little about investments and basic deposits and withdrawals, but nowhere close to the amount of knowledge I have about banking now. I knew that ESL was a great place for members and employees because I know a few people that have worked here in the past.” –Taylor, Mt Read Branch

What skills have you gained or enhanced from your internship?

This summer, each student obtained first-hand exposure to the banking world, and every student we talked with said they expanded and/or improved their skill set through their experience at ESL.

“I have improved with cash handling for sure. Also, I have become a much stronger communicator and am more confident.” –Colin, Ridgeway Branch

“I have enhanced my collaboration and communication skills, and gained valuable knowledge of the banking/finance industry and how money works in general.” –Kanika, Pittsford Branch

“I have started to build relationships with customers and learn the importance of good community bonds.” –Serafina, Long Pond Branch

“The skills I have enhanced from my internship is my attention to detail as I have spent a great deal of time in the quality control aspect of loan processing. Furthermore, I have gained better critical thinking skills as well as enhanced my ability to communicate with others.” –Ryan, Consumer Lending

“I’ve learned how to use different systems and effectively research through archives. I have also had good practice at solving problems that don’t have an immediate solution/answer, as some of the requests I complete require either judgement or more in-depth research to effectively complete.” –Danny, Member Service Support

Would you recommend working at ESL to your friends? Why?

The overwhelming consensus is YES! Here’s why:

“I would absolutely recommend working at ESL to my friends. The teams I have worked with both have a family environment. I have never felt like I was just summer help. Everyone really made me feel part of their team.” –Tammy, Newark Branch

“Yes, I would definitely recommend working at ESL to my friends. Throughout my time here thus far, the strong reputation that ESL has with myself and in the community has held up. The atmosphere and culture is so pleasant. People greet each other in the hallways, and everyone is willing to help out. If I don’t understand something, I don’t hesitate to ask questions, and a large reason for that is the openness and friendliness that everyone here demonstrates. It is easy to see that there is strong leadership from the top down.” –Thomas, Business Methods

“ESL provides a great place to learn and grow” –Marco, Mortgage Lending

“Yes, everyone is very nice and welcoming! Family oriented company.” –Nick, Merchants Branch

“I would definitely recommend my friends to work at ESL, primarily because of the welcoming environment and friendly nature of the people you work with. The value of having a positive workplace culture, and feeling a sense of belonging, can’t be understated.” –Danny, Member Service Support

How did your internship experience at ESL match your expectations?

This year’s summer students came into their roles with high expectations, most of them being met or exceeded!

“I expected to gain valuable hands on work experience within the banking and mortgaging servicing industry. ESL has proved itself to be an excellent place to work, and a great place for students to gain industry experience.” –Marco, Mortgage Lending

“I would say my experience has matched my expectations, I have learned a lot about what goes on in a bank as well as explored what I may want to do when I am older and graduate college.” –Kanika, Pittsford Branch

“My experience at ESL has far exceeded my expectations, I am learning more than I ever thought I would!” –Lindsay, Marketing Communications

“I expected for ESL to have a welcoming environment and a positive atmosphere, and it most certainly does. Although I was told it would be more independent after the first week or two, I still did not expect my role to have the level of independence that it does. I’m happy about it though because it allows me to learn and figure things out on my own with the option to ask the people around me for assistance when I need it.” –Thomas, Loan Servicing

“This experience has exceeded my expectations. I am learning so many valuable banking skills that will prepare me for the future.” –Colin, Ridgeway Branch

We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!