Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Don Lee’s ‘Never Quit’ Attitude Benefits Customers and Communities
educating-myself | Read Time: 3 minutes
By Kyle Babcock | Published: May 2021
After joining WSFS Bank as a Corporate Banking Trainee in 2008, Don Lee hit the ground running, using hard work, discipline and a desire to learn continuously to start his climb up the proverbial corporate ladder.
“My first job out of college was with WSFS,” said Lee. “The career path that I chose allowed me to develop a solid knowledge in commercial banking and gain exposure to numerous local business owners as well as real estate investors. During my professional career at WSFS, I have pursued many learning and training opportunities, including a 15-month WSFS Fundamentals of Leadership program, various Risk Management Association courses on topics such as commercial real estate and commercial lending, and became a licensed IRS Enrolled Agent.”
Lee leans on the discipline and “never quit” attitude gained during his more than two years of military service to fuel him to continue to grow professionally and persevere until the job is done.
“Currently, I am pursuing my master’s of management in corporate innovation and entrepreneurship at Pennsylvania State University and expect to graduate next summer,” he said. “So far, the program has provided me with business and management skills that help me build an entrepreneurial mindset and succeed in today’s dynamic work environments.”
Lee has advanced in his roles in his decade-plus at WSFS, moving from Corporate Banking Trainee to Commercial Credit Analyst and Portfolio Manager, to his current position as Relationship Manager within the Commercial Banking Division.
“My primary role is to maintain and service an existing commercial loan portfolio, as well as develop new business through client cultivation and requests for business and real estate lending proposals,” Lee said.
He is also a member of WSFS’ Select Markets Team, a group of Associates that leans on its diverse backgrounds, deep knowledge of varying cultures and bilingual capabilities to serve minority-owned businesses.
“Over the past several years, the Asian-American population of Pennsylvania increased more than 18%, primarily clustered in southeast Pennsylvania around Philadelphia,” said Lee. “This has provided us with many opportunities to serve minority-owned businesses and assist them with fulfilling their diverse banking needs.”
Lee is also active in supporting diversity both within WSFS and in the community. As a member of WSFS’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group, he works to inform and unite the Bank’s Associates to build an inclusive and diverse workforce through education and understanding.
“I also serve as an advisory board member of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (AACCGP), which is dedicated to promoting regional economic growth between Asian and non-Asian businesses,” he said. “With the rise of Anti-Asian violence, it is especially important that we work closely with our business community to promote social and economic equity regardless of origin, race or color.”
Advancing Your Career
Having helped a variety of Customers and communities during his time at WSFS, Lee has learned a few lessons about how to succeed.
Pursue with purpose. “I believe purpose is the ultimate reason for your career journey. When you pursue something with purpose, you don’t get burnt out or bored.”
Stay positive. “You do not want to be the person who only sees the negative side of things and finds something to complain about. Staying negative will only drain your energy and won’t fix any problems.”
Gain trust. “No matter what kind of job you wish to have, I think gaining trust is one of the most important tips for success in your career. Trust must be earned by fulfilling every commitment you make to your manager, coworker or Customer, and it is vital to accept responsibility for your actions whether the outcome is favorable or not. Once you become trustworthy, you will be more productive, innovative and competitive.”
About the Author – Kyle Babcock
Kyle Babcock is Integrated Communications Strategist at WSFS Bank. He has more than seven years of experience in product and professional services marketing, communications and advertising.
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