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IBA Member Spotlight: Jake Schnedler

Persistence Pays Off for Schnedler

Jake Schnedler 1Banking was a career that always interested Jake Schnedler. It was a career he pursued immediately after graduating from the University of Iowa. Despite a few interviews, a career opportunity did not appear in his future at that time. After spending 10 years as a logistics manager at a hospital, he started to once again feel a pull toward banking. He reached out to the president where he banked to see if there were openings. There wasn’t. Schnedler was not deterred. “I continued to contact him at least every month or so for about a year and a half,” Schnedler said. “Eventually, I broke him down and the rest is history.”

Today, Schnedler is a vice president and lender at Mediapolis Savings Bank. “As community bankers, we have the opportunity to impact our customers in so many ways,” Schnedler said. “Lending has been especially rewarding for me as I’ve been able to help customers achieve their goals.”

Where did you attend college/what degree(s) have you obtained?

After high school, I spent two years attending Southeastern Community College in West Burlington where I received my associate’s degree with a focus on business. I transferred to the University of Iowa and graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing. After finishing the Iowa School of Banking in 2021, I decided to enroll in the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I am on track to graduate from GSB in August of this year.

What drove you to choose a career in banking?

When I graduated college, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but banking always seemed to interest me. I moved back home and had a couple interviews at local banks but nothing ever materialized. Shortly after that, I accepted a job as a buyer at a local hospital and spent about 10 years there as a logistics manager. As changes in health care started coming more and more rapidly, I realized it was time for me to move on. Still thinking banking would be a rewarding career, I reached out to the president where I banked to see if there were any openings. While there was nothing available at the time, I continued to contact him at least every month or so for about a year and a half. Eventually I broke him down and the rest is history.

What is one lesson working in the banking industry has taught you, and how do you apply it to your everyday life?

One thing that people notice about me fairly quickly is that I tend to come across as carefree. Being in banking and especially in lending, that way of life had to go completely out the window. Even small mistakes or oversights could cost my organization a great deal, which is a huge fear of mine. As a result, my approach to virtually anything now is much more calculated and analytical. This isn’t always ideal as I can be pretty impatient as well — hence, one of my favorite quotes below.

What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?

If you’ve ever considered a career in banking, do it! I’ve had the privilege of working in my hometown bank for about 9 years now and I’ve never once regretted it. As community bankers, we have the opportunity to impact our customers in so many ways. Lending has been especially rewarding for me as I’ve been able to help customers achieve their goals, working with them to buy their first vehicle, home, or even business. Another part I’ve really enjoyed is the networking. I’ve met so many great people across the state over the years that I never would have known otherwise. There’s a reason so many people have such long careers in this industry.

How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?

I’m fortunate to work at a bank that is very supportive of ongoing education. The IBA has so much to offer in terms of their various trainings, webinars and schools. Over the last several years, I’ve attended the Consumer and Commercial Lending Schools as well as the Iowa School of Banking. They do a great job of adjusting their curriculum in order to address current issues and make sure we get the most out of these experiences and, again, the networking has been a huge benefit. These opportunities as well as their continuous representation of banks across the state are invaluable. If your bank isn’t already a member of the IBA, I think it’s time to see what they can do for you.

When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?

I spend a lot of time coaching my two sons — Jaden (11) and Brecken (8) — in baseball, basketball and football. Most of our weekends are spent at the ballpark or in the gym. Any spare time we do get is typically spent working at home — I’m a big DIYer — or at the Lake of the Ozarks.

What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

— John Wooden