This month’s professional spotlight features Selam Eyassu. Selam is Vice President, DC Community Manager at Congressional Bank. Learn more about Selam and her work, as well as her thoughts on giving back.
Could you briefly explain some of your responsibilities in your current career role?
I manage branch portfolio of close to $70 mill. I focus on growing my portfolio by over $1mill quarterly. To develop new long-term business relationships with $2 mill- $10 mill in annual revenue. I manage a team of colleagues who oversee branch’s day-to-day operations and compliance. I manage and train sales personnel on new business development and portfolio growth
How did you come to decide that this was the right career path for you?
In 2007, a friend from college introduced me to Banking. I knew nothing about Banking when I dove into the industry, but I quickly learned that money is a very emotional subject to most and I was playing an important role in clients’ lives. That’s what I enjoy most, having a positive impact in the lives of people I serve. And this is important to me whatever path my career takes.
Is there a philosophy that drives your career?
Wherever my career takes me, I want to make sure that I’m contributing in a positive way. That’s my philosophy.
What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment?
I’d say being offered a leadership position was definitely an accomplishment. I’m exploring a different side of myself. It’s challenging and yet very rewarding.
What’s one piece of advice you would give someone looking to transition into your line of work?
Approach each area of responsibilities with a sense of urgency and diligence, be yourself, be patient, and appreciate the process.
Why is giving back important to you? How do you give back?
I recently read that the sun doesn’t shine for itself nor do rivers drink their own water. I believe that as human-beings, we also have a natural tendency to be of service to others. Truth be told, I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t have incredible people in my life to lift me up. So, I give back often by teaming up with the Philanthropy Committee here at work, supporting different causes that touch me, or simply buying someone in need a hot cup of coffee on my way to work. There’s always an opportunity to give back if we stay open to it.
Outside of all of your hard work and efforts toward building your brand, what do you do for fun? Hobbies?
I attend as many networking events as I can, and spend time with people in my “Circle of Influence”. I am also the treasurer and board member of The Washington Circle Business Association in Foggy Bottom. We host different events and socials with policy makers, business owners, council members, and the Mayor’s office in order to promote our brand while keeping up with current business and community climate in Washington, DC. I love spending time with my 7 year-old son, Christian! I enjoy spending time and creating memories with close friends and family. I enjoy reading, traveling, dancing…and the occasional lazy Sundays!