Farming Teaches Sunderman to ‘Keep a Level Head’
In addition to being a banker, Cole Sunderman operates a small farming operation. He says working with livestock has given him a wealth of experiences that he incorporates into his banking career. “The lesson that I have learned and continue to be taught is that whenever things go wrong, you need to just keep working and keep a level head,” he said.
Today, Sunderman, who graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a degree in agricultural business, is assistant vice president commercial and consumer loan officer at Cornerstone Bank in Clarinda. He says he enjoys helping people with their financial goals. “From a small personal loan to buying a home, the joy from helping people is fulfilling,” he said.
How did you get into banking as a career?
I completed a summer internship after my junior year at Northwest Missouri State University with Cornerstone Bank, and I really enjoyed it and the people I worked with. I also have an older sibling that is an ag and commercial loan officer, and he pushed me toward banking. When this opportunity presented itself to get back into my community and help the people in it, I jumped on it.
Prior to your current role, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had, and what lesson did it teach you that you still use today?
Prior and continued — I operate a small farming operation that provides for a wealth of experiences — mostly from calving cows and lambing. The lesson that I have learned and continue to be taught is that whenever things go wrong, you need to just keep working and keep a level head.
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
Banking is a great career because it provides you the opportunity to meet and help people achieve their financial goals and dreams. From a small personal loan to buying a home, the joy from helping people is fulfilling.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
Being involved with the Iowa Bankers Association has provided an almost limitless learning platform and a great way to connect and meet others in the industry.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
When not at work, I enjoy spending time with friends and family! I have a passion for farming and love spending time working on my operation and seeing it become what I want it to be. I am an avid golfer during the summer months when possible and I am also a volunteer fire fighter.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
A quote that I say almost daily is, “It’s a good day, to have a good day.” It serves as a reminder to myself and others that even when it doesn’t seem like it, every day is an opportunity to have a good day and, in general, it’s your attitude that is the deciding factor on whether or not it is.