Three things in my early days shaped me most: my parents, the Christian faith, and my first year at Bank of America back in 1980.

I was twenty years old, still in college but was selected and hired for the bank’s Management Training Program. It was a year of intense training. Here’s a snapshot of the subjects:

  • How to dress (professionally, according to your height, body type, and occasion)
  • How to dress (professionally, according to your height, body type, and occasion)
  • How to write a letter (style, grammar, and editing)
  • How to shake hands, smile, and make eye contact
  • How to have hard conversations and dealing with conflict
  • How to tell the truth while honoring the person
  • How to behave at formal gatherings including the use of utensils, napkins, etc.
  • How to listen to others and say back what you heard
  • How to identify suspicious behavior inside and outside of bank facilities
  • We learned the history of banking including Bank of America (Initially known as Bank of Italy)

We were trained in these areas mostly by doing them and practicing them in front of others and receiving immediate feedback. We didn’t graduate to learning about banking until we satisfactorily completed each of these and several more. I wonder how many organizations invest in the next generation as Bank of America invested in me?


In this blog, we got a glimpse of the BoA management training program Jim went through. For another anecdote from his time in Bank of America, read the Monday Moment blog, Proverbs 27:17 – As Iron Sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another.

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