Dana Phillips, left, and Traci (Thams) Van Houten.
While interning at the United Bank of Iowa (UBI) in Ida Grove this fall, Buena Vista University student Dana Phillips not only affirmed her professional aspirations, but also had the opportunity to work alongside a BVU alum.
Traci (Thams) Van Houten, Class of 2001, says she was thrilled to discover that Dana would be interning under her supervision at UBI. “This process was terrific,” says Van Houten, who works as an internal auditor and was a finance and banking major at BVU. “I was happy to provide knowledge and expose Dana to the auditing department so she could learn and expand her knowledge base.”
“I was not aware Traci was a BVU graduate until we began discussing the possibility of the internship,” says Dana, a senior finance and banking major from Ida Grove who is attending BVU’s Denison Graduate & Professional Studies site. “Seeing that Traci had a similar educational background and career path was very helpful.”
Among her responsibilities as an intern, Dana, who has worked at UBI since 2011 as a teller and a bookkeeper, assisted with internal audit testing and branch audits, reviewed loan funding, and communicated daily with employees at other UBI branches.
“My internship has given me a desire to grow and learn at the bank,” says Dana. “I am interested in advancement opportunities and this experience gave me the chance to work in the auditing department which is something I may not have ever gotten to do otherwise.”
In addition to gaining experience in another department at UBI, Dana says Traci helped her acquire general professional skills. “Traci taught me to be very thorough and to have a strong attention to detail,” she says.
As a former student at BVU’s main campus in Storm Lake, Van Houten understands the importance of professional development opportunities. “While I was a student at BVU, I interned at Cahaba GBA in Des Moines and the experience was very valuable,” she recalls. “I hope that this exposure to a new area of the bank will be beneficial in Dana’s future career path at UBI. Although I don’t know what the future holds for her professionally, I can only hope that I was helpful in providing her a glimpse of the audit side of the bank and why it is important in the overall structure of this organization.”
Dana, who has resumed her full-time position as a bookkeeper at UBI after completing her internship last month, will graduate from BVU in December. “My internship furthered my knowledge and will help me in my current job and in any other position I may have in the future. It was a great experience,” she says.