We’re continuing our series featuring Black finance professionals in St. Louis with Monica Campbell, Vice President, Community Development at Enterprise Bank and Trust. As the Vice President of Community Development, she serves as a liaison between the bank and the community in areas ranging from financial education to small business development. Learn more about Monica’s background, as well as her top career and personal finance tips below:
Prosperity Connection: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose to work in finance?
Monica Campbell: I have been in the banking industry for 25 years working in Credit Card, Retail, Small Business, and now Community Development. To be honest, I didn’t set out to be a banker but once I entered the industry I was fascinated with all of the aspects and moving parts of the finance industry. I enjoyed empowering individuals and giving them financial advice that would have a positive impact on their future.
PC: How did you end up “here”/where you are now?
MC: I was working part-time for a newspaper company when I found out about an opportunity in the credit card division at a bank. It was going to take approximately 5 years to get full-time at the newspaper company. Although I was going to make less money an hour and work the graveyard shift, I had to weigh my options because the opportunity for full-time was much faster. I took a chance and it turned out to be the right one. I’m currently the Vice President of Community Development for Enterprise Bank & Trust.
PC: What do you like most about being in your role?
MC: I like being a resource and being able to point individuals, businesses, and organizations in the right direction to ensure financial empowerment. It’s very rewarding to give a financial seminar to a group of individuals who are looking to find out what are the first steps to homeownership and then to take one of the individuals balloons and a card at their closings. I have sat down with small business owners from the idea conception phase to the ribbon cutting ceremony. While the celebrations are great, I like being able to assist with everything that gets them to their goal. That can be referring individuals to credit counseling, assisting with the setup of the LLC, helping to choose the right bank account, or hosting homeownership financial fairs for the community.
PC: What would you consider your greatest achievement in your financial career so far?
MC: I would say my greatest achievement is paying it forward and mentoring others, especially African American associates. There is a disproportionate number of African Americans in the banking industry compared to our counterparts and those numbers lessen even more as you go to the executives of the bank.
PC: What advice would you have for someone looking to pursue a similar career?
MC: I strongly suggest getting a mentor and make sure you ask a lot of questions. Take advantage of self-improvement seminars and classes. Lastly, choose a career that you are passionate about.
PC: What is your top, simple financial tip?
MC: Take care of your credit. If it’s not where you want it to be, instead of avoiding it – obtain a copy of your credit report and find out what you need to do to improve your scores. After you learn, pay it forward by sharing that information with a friend or a relative so they can do the same. We all need to win!
Thank you Monica for sharing your story and advice!