Fernandez Finds New Calling in Banking Industry
Oscar Fernandez graduated in December from the University of Iowa with a degree in enterprise leadership while working full time as a banker. Prior to banking, he worked in debt collection. Kate Hightshoe, diversity officer for QCR Holdings, Inc., said Fernandez told her while working in debt collection, he used to day dream about working at the bank next door. “He shared with me how clean, sharp and professional everything always looked when he would look out the window,” she said.
Today, Fernandez works in retail banking at Community Bank & Trust in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area. “[Banking] allows us to provide a solution and help people achieve their financial goals,” he said.
How did you get into banking as a career?
I have always had an interest in various aspects of finance and wanted to work in banking to gain some knowledge in the world of banking/finance. I really enjoy it and look forward to continue learning and growing.
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?
A previous role that I found interesting/unusual was when I worked at Sears while in high school. Part of that role included repairing old tools that people would bring in. Oftentimes these were older tools that people grew attached to. I didn’t know much about tools, but instructions came with toolkits, and I learned the importance of addressing problems in an effective manner in order to prevent it from becoming a larger problem down the road, especially when it holds sentimental value for people.
What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
Banking is a great career because everyone has banking needs. Banking has and will be around forever, it has evolved into what it is today in order to satisfy people’s ever-evolving needs, and it will continue to evolve to meet people’s needs. It allows us to provide a solution and help people achieve their financial goals.
How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
The Iowa Bankers Association is helpful to me because it assists me in staying up to date on current events within the banking world. I find this useful because this way I am able to stay informed about ongoing and upcoming events within the banking world.
When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I also like taking short road trips with my friends whenever possible.
What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
Take risks now and do something bold. You wont regret it.
— Elon Musk