A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
By Beth Hughes, Banking Officer, Greater Washington, D.C. Commercial Banking
Joined M&T in 2005 as a Summer EA and in 2006 as an EA
Education: MBA, The Wharton Business School (University of Pennsylvania), 2006; BA,
Muhlenberg College, 2000
At M&T, Executive Associates (EA) are given significant responsibilities from day one.
While this can be both exciting and daunting, it represents a tremendous opportunity to
make an impact on the organization right away.
One of the most important skills an EA needs is the ability to multitask and utilize
various skill sets depending on the assignment at hand. There is no “typical day” in my
job, each day brings its own set of unique responsibilities and challenges. For example,
yesterday started with a client meeting to discuss a large project that they are
undertaking, and the creative ways that M&T proposes to finance it. I then returned to
the office to finish an annual review for another client and prepare my remarks for a loan
committee presentation the following day. The day ended with a networking event at a
nearby venue where I met with local business owners and community leaders and heard
from a renowned local economist on the outlook for the DC Region. While managing
several different tasks at the same time can be challenging, the variety of responsibilities
that I have help to keep each day at M&T very interesting.
Effective presentation skills are very important in my job. Whether I’m presenting a term
sheet to a client or discussing a credit internally with M&T’s loan committee, I need to be
confident in my ability to clearly communicate and present my thoughts and ideas. As
part of the core curriculum in my first year at Wharton, I took a communications class
that has proven to be extremely helpful. The professor videotaped our presentations and
had the class provide constructive criticism. This feedback has proven to be incredibly
useful in successfully doing my job today. I continue to improve my presentation skills
by carefully observing the tactics used by my peers and my manager.
Strong negotiating skills are also a must at M&T. In my role, I must keep my clients
happy as well as satisfy the demands of my internal credit partners at the bank. Finding
this delicate balance requires negotiation and at times compromise. I was very fortunate
to take Professor Diamond’s Negotiations class while at Wharton where we did a lot of
role-play, bargaining, and negotiation simulations which have taught me tactics that I use
everyday in my job.
One of the things I like best about M&T is its strong commitment to the community.
M&T encourages its employees to be involved with various organizations throughout the
footprint. We work extensively with the YMCA, and earlier this summer my entire team
spent the day with several hundred children at a YMCA sponsored event. As a
newcomer to Washington, these activities allowed me to meet new people as well as give
something back to the community.