If Kelsea (Adams) Pinkham ’14, M.B.A. ’15 had not attended Thomas College, she would not be in her dream job at age 23, she says.
“It is still so surreal. I never thought that at 23 years old I would be so far into this career for myself or that I would be in an organization that I want to be in forever. I want to be able to say that I have worked here for 35 years,” she says. “I’m 23 and in December I will be celebrating five years with one organization already.”
Pinkham was a senior at Mt. Blue High School when she decided to participate in a vocation program through her school and Franklin Savings Bank to learn how to be a bank teller. That summer, she was offered a job at the bank as a teller. That’s when she found her love for business, and in part, why she decided to go to Thomas College.
“Thomas had a great reputation for business; it was local; I could commute if I wanted to; and, then I went to visit and I was totally sold on it,” she says.
Pinkham loved the small class size, which fit her learning style, and she said she grew a lot during her time there.
“I think the independence that I got from Thomas was incredible. I had to become in control of myself. I had to develop a lot of self-control, self-power, will, and determination to be sure that I really managed my school work but still got it done exceptionally well and then go to work every day, too,” she said. “I really had to utilize and learn some time-management skills, and I think that Thomas was incredibly helpful with that.”
Franklin Savings Bank offered her a part-time job while she was going to Thomas because she was commuting, and she was building a house in Farmington, as well.
“I knew that in the long run it was going to be so worth it – incredibly worth it. I really had to make sure that I was excelling and always putting my school work first but not losing sight of the other things I was working on, such as my career and my house.”
During her last semester of her Bachelor’s degree (she finished a semester early), she asked the bank if they would provide an internship for her. They were very supportive, so she began interning in their human resources department while attending Thomas.
Because of a JMG scholarship, called the Clifford Scholarship, Pinkham was convinced to participate in the Accelerated MBA program, which is 10-months long. She said it was definitely intense but worth getting it done, and she learned a lot.
Even though Pinkham was done with her required internship for school through the bank, she continued to work there. And, a month before she graduated with her Master’s, she was offered a full-time position at Franklin Savings Bank.
Now, she is a human resources generalist and management trainee at the bank. She spends about 20 hours per week doing her HR duties, including job posting, interviewing, and managing employee benefits, wellness initiatives, and employee incentives. The remainder of her time is spent in a different department learning what they do.
“I learn the ropes; gain a better understanding of the banking atmosphere in general; learn different management techniques and how different managers work; and, learn that what you do in one department impacts what you do in another,” she said. “It is an incredible opportunity. I learn a dozen new things every day.”
Pinkham just spent the last six months in the accounting department.
“Accounting was surely not my thing in college, but I was shocked at how much fun I had in the accounting department and how comfortable I was with what I was doing,” she said. “I just completely re-did the bank’s balance sheet, and that is something I never could have done without my education.”
Pinkham hopes to one day be in a management position within the bank, and she is so thankful to be working there.
“This is where I want to be. They have really opened their doors to me. This is where I belong; this is my home. I know everyone, and I live five miles away,” she said. “And, this all wouldn’t have worked out if I hadn’t chosen Thomas. If I had gone to another school, things would have been so different. I wouldn’t have been able to commute to school. I wouldn’t have continued my job at the bank. I wouldn’t have done an internship here. Things would have been different for me. Everything happens for a reason.”