Tommy Olson, Old National Bank
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Tommy Olson, SVP, corporate banking team lead, Old National Bank.
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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
I really enjoy working with companies and people on some of the most important and intimate decisions that they will make. Being in that position is both challenging and rewarding, as the stakes are very high. The goal is always to be supportive and do what’s best for the client. Sometimes the best deals are ones that never cross the finish line. Typically, we can find a way to help our clients improve the position of their business. How could you not love a job where you spend a significant amount of your time helping clients win?
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
John Ronzia, SVP at Oak Bank, has been one of my most important mentors to this point in my career. I grew up in commercial banking under him, and we shared great success together. John has all the skills and intangibles that you would want in your top commercial lender and leader. John is a fount of knowledge and experience that I really benefited from in my early years of lending, and continue to benefit from today.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
The high point of my career has been the past year. I was with another financial institution for nine years prior to making the jump to ONB in early 2017. It was a very tough decision after spending my entire career with the other institution, but the opportunity to join ONB and help lead their C&I (business) lending efforts in the state was such an intriguing opportunity. In a year of soft commercial loan demand nationally, our business grew at a significant pace and my team was an integral part of that growth.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Be patient! You’re entering the workforce during the depths of one of the worst recessions you will face in life. Things work out and the investments that you make in yourself will pay off, but just enjoy the ride. This is easier said than done. While I really dislike stereotypes, being impatient tends to be one that holds true for millennials (especially this one).