Careers that Focus on Giving
Written by Eric Schremp, Assistant Vice President – Commercial Real Estate Banking
There comes a point in almost every college athlete’s life when you have to start believing: “Sports can always be a part of your life, but you need a career path.” For me, that was my junior year at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
I was a kid from Wausau who loved golf, and was fortunate enough to play as a walk-on athlete for three years on the University of Wisconsin Men’s Golf Team. I’d played golf since I was 3 years old, but knew it was time to put it aside for my last summer in school, find an internship, and start mapping out something I enjoyed.
Getting Down to Business
The Athletics Department encourages all athletes to attend the Student-Athlete Career Fair, which is where I met Emily Bradley, Director of Talent Acquisition at First Business. I knew I wanted a career in business, so the Credit Analyst internship at First Business Bank seemed like a perfect fit. I’d learn about banking, business, and working in general.
I can still remember my first week as an intern and how overwhelmed I felt. However, that experience was useful for many reasons. (Not least of which is the perspective I can offer to our Credit Analyst interns in their first weeks.) I also learned about the coworkers and culture embraced by First Business. Turns out it was a great fit.
Mixing Golf & Giving
First Business promotes community involvement and provides opportunities and flex situations for employees to give back to causes that are important to them. One of the first causes I aligned myself with was Coaches vs Cancer Wisconsin. The Coaches vs. Cancer program, in collaboration with the National Association of Basketball Coaches, unites coaches and sports fans across the country to help the American Cancer Society defeat cancer. While working at First Business, I took on a leadership role as the Chair of the Associate Board of Ambassadors. Through this position I’ve had the great opportunity to work closely with other community business leaders, while supporting an important cause.
I also make the personal choice to give back to United Way at the Rosenberry level, and took a leadership role as a United Way Rosenberry Society Council Member. If you’re not familiar, the Rosenberry Society is a committed group of people 40 and younger who are committed to engaging our younger leaders in Dane County through social, philanthropic, and professional development events. Rosenberry Members account for more than $800,000 of the overall United Way campaign, making a huge impact in the areas of education, income, and health.
Lastly, I’ve been able to golf for charity at the First Business Invitational for Charity. This event invites local businesses to sponsor 2-person golf teams and play on behalf of a charity that is meaningful to them.
It’s highly competitive – the top teams’ charities win thousands of dollars. In fact, in 2018, charities across Wisconsin received $70,000 in donations from our event, and, cumulatively over the past eight years, the event has enabled almost $400,000 in donations.
Out on the course my whole adolescence, I never imagined I could mix golf, a career, and giving back to our community. I’m grateful that I have a chance to pursue my passion for all three here at First Business. If you’re a new grad considering career options, I encourage you to consider a company whose culture and opportunities align with your personal goals and preferences. I believe you’ll find it will make all the difference.