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3 min read

Banking Outside Your Comfort Zone

For CWB’s Travis Thornton, taking new opportunities has allowed him to flourish in his commercial banking career.

 An entrepreneurial drive and desire to find meaning behind numbers are what attracted Travis Thornton to the world of banking. Finding success as a member of CWB’s commercial banking team, Travis has grown his career by taking advantage of the many dynamic opportunities presented to him. Travis relishes tapping into the positivity and energy of the entrepreneurs across various industries he partners with daily, and stays engaged by finding ways to help them achieve success.

Partner With Positivity

“Just being around entrepreneurs all the kind of rubs off on you; they’re eternally optimistic, which is something I really like. They always think that something is going to happen, it’s going to work out — there’s a new project coming, a new deal coming,” explains Travis. 

Stepping into new and uncomfortable situations has been at the heart of Travis’ professional development. “I’ve been able to get into a good position here in terms of getting more and more exposure to larger clients quicker,” he notes. “I know that there’s a comfort zone and I’m surrounded by a bunch of professionals who will help me, but the biggest thing I did was take the initiative and step out of my comfort zone as much as I possibly could.”

The Personal Side of Business Banking

For Travis, who says he’s truly not a ‘numbers guy’, his interest in finance stems from what’s beyond the quantitative; the stories and the people who have always provided an undeniable humanity to banking. It is this combination of analytical and interpersonal skills which have provided Travis with a well-rounded banking toolkit, one he’s been able to put to good use.

Beginning his career in the midst of one of Alberta’s most severe recessions provided an immediate, and eye-opening, look into the realities facing businesses within the province. The ways in which Travis and his team handled the economic stressors for their clients, in the form of interest-only periods on mortgages and other measured concessions, are what have provided him with some of the most satisfying moments of his young career.

“Coming out of it now — not that the economy is fully recovered yet — I’m getting to see a lot more companies do a lot better,” says Travis. “It’s nice to see some recognition from them when they say: ‘You guys were there during this tough time, and now look at us!’.”

He understands that for everyone involved, the downturn wasn’t and still isn’t just a business matter. “You have to be patient with your have to understand that it’s their lives, each of these companies is their life, so you have to respect that as well.”

People First, Always

With CWB, Travis has found this ‘people first’ focus extends beyond client interactions: it’s reflected within the culture of the very branches and offices of the organization itself. “I know a lot of people already and they’re all one phone call away,” he explains.

“It’s just a more welcoming environment and it’s allowed me a lot of growth already over the last three and a half years, which is awesome.”

Looking forward, Travis is excited about the future and his opportunities within CWB, particularly given the amount he's been able to develop and learn in his relatively short tenure thus far.

For anyone looking towards a career in commercial banking with CWB, Travis’ advice is simple: take the opportunities presented to you. Luckily, these are plentiful at CWB. “It’s an open ball game — you can move at your own pace. If you’re willing to get into situations that are fairly uncomfortable, you get to learn a lot more.”