Branch Manager uses new project management skills to boost productivity

Erick Vivas immigrated to the United States in 2018 from Venezuela. Soon after immigrating, Erick landed a job as a Relationship Banker at a large top U.S. bank in San Francisco. A dedicated and diligent worker, Erick was promoted twice in four years. Now, as a Branch Manager, Erick oversees 10 employees at one of the busiest bank branches in San Francisco. 

After receiving the promotion to Branch Manager in 2022, Erick decided it was time to level up his professional skills. He wanted to learn project management skills to more efficiently manage the operations of his branch. Erick was grateful for the opportunity to do so through one of the bank’s employee benefits. 

Enhancing professional skills through tuition assistance programs

Erick’s employer offers free classes to employees through a tuition assistance program. The company provides a curated catalog of learning programs to help employees achieve their goals and grow within their companies. Erick found a Project Management Certificate program offered by Pathstream through his employer’s tuition assistance program. 

“It’s amazing that my employer gives us so many resources, like where we can connect with institutions like Pathstream. For me, it’s so important. It’s something extra — to have your company pay for your education — and in the end, it’s extra money you’re receiving.” 

Erick learned about his employer’s tuition assistance program at a company town hall for bankers. The company offers up to $7,500 a year to each employee in education benefits, but Erick decided to start small. “I did some research on Pathstream and took a short course on Coursera first. I had a good experience, so I decided to take a full certificate program,” Erick shared. 

Starting the upskilling journey with Pathstream

Erick used his remaining tuition assistance money to take the Pathstream Project Management Certificate, a four-course program that can be completed in 6 months. It teaches students the foundations of planning and initiating a project, stakeholder and risk management, and how to continuously record knowledge to improve the project management process. Erick was drawn to project management because he saw how it could impact his current work and his future career. 

“I think project management is something that you can use in any career. As a branch manager, even though I’m more on the operations side, we sometimes have projects we need to drive forward within the branch and within the company. So this program was a good choice for me. And if I want to advance my career within the company, it will be something that is good to show on my resume, to have the skills to take projects on and complete them.”

Erick found the Pathstream experience easy to navigate and flexible with his schedule. Though the course was rigorous, he felt he received the needed support. “It was easy to schedule an appointment with instructors. One day, I had a question, and I was able to schedule an appointment that same day, at the time that I need after work. It’s not like you have to wait a couple of days. And the instructor who helped me was amazing,” Erick said.

Applying new-found project management skills on the job

Erick immediately saw opportunities to use his new project management skills at work. “Right now we don’t have enough bankers for our branch. So, a project that I just started is to develop our associate bankers to provide customer service. The project is basically providing education and giving associate bankers the right training and structure to be successful. Because I started as a banker, I have direct experience that I can use to help develop my employees. Then we can move them to be bankers if they want to go with that promotion.” Erick feels like the project management skills he’s learning have helped him bring innovation to his branch. 

“At a bank, you can stay doing the same thing everyone does, but sometimes you have to adapt and change and find real solutions for the problems that come up day to day. So, the project that I am developing, that is not happening in any other branch. It’s a way that I can use what I’m learning from the Pathstream program in my current position.”

Charting the course for continued professional advancement

After participating in a tuition assistance program, Erick is motivated to continue growing at his company. He’s still figuring out exactly what he wants his next role to be, but he’s taking another Pathstream education program through his tuition assistance benefits to suss out his next steps. Erick just started an Advanced Data Analytics Professional Certificate with Python, and he’s hoping to marry his project management skills with IT to make an impact at his company. 

In reflecting on his experience, Erick described how invaluable his employer’s tuition assistance program has been. It’s improved his skills and thereby improved his impact at the company. He also recommends that his staff and peers take advantage of the programs. 

“The Pathstream program is a great opportunity because the more you learn, the more you have to offer. The new skills you gain will be taken into account by anyone looking to give you an opportunity for a promotion or to have you as part of their team. You can use project management skills almost anywhere you go within the company. So, this is something that I think will be extremely valuable to anyone hoping to grow.”


What’s next?

Just like Erick, seize this opportunity to gain valuable, practical skills and boost your professional growth. Make the most of your employer’s tuition assistance program and enroll in Pathstream’s Project Management Certificate program today. Begin your journey of learning and unlock a world of opportunities. Who knows? The next success story could be yours!

Do you work for an employer that provides education benefits through Guild? Click here to find Pathstream’s program.

If not, you can learn more about how to access tuition reimbursement here or click the button below.

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