Eben: Networking Is Key to Success in Banking
Brian Eben always knew he wanted to center his career around building relationships with other people. “I enjoyed relationship building so much that it turned into a 17-year career,” he said. “Each career path I’ve taken may look different on the surface, but the core still centers around the value of building relationships with others around you.”
Eben is a graduate of Briar Cliff University, but he is also a firm believer in the value of experiential and life-long learning. He says his 22-year career has taught him the most valuable lessons. For almost four years, Eben has served as a branch manager and agriculture commercial loan officer for Frontier Bank in Rock Rapids, where he builds strong relationships with the customer base, community members and bank colleagues.
When looking back on your banking career, what achievement are you most proud of and why?
When looking back over my entire career, I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve developed with both customers and community members. Whether it be helping a local family to finance their farm operation, helping a local high school senior obtain a degree or simply flipping pancakes for a local Kiwanis fundraiser, it’s the relationships that matter most to me.
What piece of advice would you give to your past self or to anyone considering a career in banking?
Get away from your desk and focus on professional development and networking. It will be a key to your success! There is always going to be an experience you can learn from to help advance your career. Whether it be involvement in local community organizations or IBA schooling and seminars, the opportunities to build relationships and learn from peers or industry professionals are endless. You just have to be bold enough to take the first step and get involved.
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
If you enjoy building relationships and helping others to achieve their goals, banking can be a rewarding career choice. Financially helping a customer to grow throughout their life journey is such a humbling experience. Whether it be buying their first car, opening their next business, or even expanding their home to welcome another child, helping others through life experiences is such a great reward.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
Since I’ve started my career in banking, I’ve found the IBA to be a very valuable resource for both education and networking. I’ve completed events such as the IBA Agricultural Credit School along with attending multiple seminars, conferences and webinars over the past few years. These educational opportunities have helped me to interact with a number of individuals who have either provided advice or simply conversed on their own experiences to help me grow in my career. I highly recommend any member institutions allow their employees to get involved in IBA events, for both personal and professional growth.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
Being a part-time farmer and a father of three teenagers can keep me very busy when I’m not at work. Other than spending time with family and farming, I do try and find time to play some golf, relax at the lake or train for my third marathon.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
— Dale Carnegie
I recommend Dale Carnegie leadership training to anyone. He was an expert in educating on the core concepts of building effective relationships.