15 Minutes With … Paul Bowker

A former U.S. Marine, Paul Bowker participates in motorcycling events that raise money for military veterans.

A former U.S. Marine, Paul Bowker participates in motorcycling events that raise money for military veterans.

Credit Analyst for the $95 Million-Asset Gateway Community Bank in Roscoe, Ill.

IB: You’ve been a community banker for about five months. How did you end up at Gateway Community Bank?

Bowker: Honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting into when I was offered the job. It is a learning experience, and so far I’m enjoying learning about the aspects of banking in general. Nobody really knows what goes on behind the scenes of lending. Most people who go and get a loan just assume one person looks at it and says, “OK, you can have the loan,” based on your credit score. But there are so many different factors involved.

IB: What does your job entail as a credit analyst?

Bowker: I assist in determining the risk factors involved in extending credit to customers when they apply for a new loan or when a loan comes up for renewal. … Once I have the needed data, I prepare the loan presentations and provide my analysis to the loan officers who then move forward to the decision-making phase in the credit process.

IB: Is your job different from what you expected?

Bowker: Having no background and no family in banking, I went into this completely blind. I just expected to be tossed into the fire, but it wasn’t like that at all. I got in here and I have been able to go with the loan processors, the loan officers, the personal bankers and business associates. I have seen every aspect of how the loan process works or just how banking works in general.

I like the training that I am getting.

IB: So your introduction went well?

Bowker: Very well. If you have a question, everybody here is quick to help you out and there is a sense of community in the company that is actually very good.

It is going to be a process, and you are not going to know everything overnight and it is going to take time. They understand that, and they don’t get frustrated with you if you do make a mistake here or there, or if you don’t understand something. They are just very good about it.

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