You Can Take That to the Bank

You Can Take That to the Bank

“I guess you could call it the boot camp of banking,” says Molly Halm, a credit analyst at LaSalle Bank in Chicago. Molly is on the first rung of a very tall ladder that reaches all the way to her professional dream: chief credit officer for an international bank.

After graduating from Saint Mary's in 2005 with a business degree, she became one of a chosen few to participate in a grueling but gratifying Commercial Banking Development Program. It's an intensive, 28-month training course—regarded as one of the finest in the country.

“I've written hundreds of reports and participated in numerous presentations since starting the program. I've learned a lot, but came into this experience totally prepared. It's just like one big senior comp,” quips Molly, referring to the senior comprehensive project at Saint Mary's, an independent study assignment that culminates in a formal written paper and public oral presentation.

Halm, a first-generation (and summa cum laude ) college grad, credits Saint Mary's and her all-women's education with giving her the foundation to thrive in the business world. She says she gained the technical and interpersonal skills necessary to work on, say, a $33 billion leverage buyout, the largest ever in the country. Really.

“I've traveled to New York, Atlanta, Nashville, and all over Chicago to meet with clients. People with MBAs and years of experience have come to take what I say as seriously as they would one of their peers. It's been extremely rewarding.”

Of course, Molly was impressive well before excelling at LaSalle Bank. As a student intern at Ford Motor Company in Detroit the summer before her senior year, she delivered an analysis of the company's worldwide fleet department to 15 male executives. She received rave reviews about her poise, organizational skills, and knowledge from her audience. One executive reportedly turned to a colleague and asked, “Where does that young lady go to school?”

That would be Saint Mary's.