Jennifer Kerstetter Charts Her Own Path to Success in Life and at WSFS Bank
educating-myself | Read Time: 3 minutes
By Eric Springer | Published: November 2021
Jennifer Kerstetter’s path to WSFS Bank, and her role as Vice President, Small Business Relationship Manager, is not a conventional one. That’s a big part of her belief that while you can have a plan in life, you never know where your journey will ultimately take you and who will be there championing your success.
“In high school, I was working in a bakery with visions of becoming a pastry chef,” said Jennifer. “A friend of mine got a job at a local bank as a part time teller and kept telling me I should work there, too. She kept talking about it and ultimately, the better hours and pay won out. And my career in banking began!”
After graduating high school, Jennifer started working in banking full time while also taking classes at Burlington County College (now Rowan College at Burlington County). Meanwhile, opportunities at the bank kept presenting themselves, and at 18 years old, Jennifer found herself being promoted to a weekend supervisor position.
“One of my very first managers was instrumental in my development in banking,” said Jennifer. “I was encouraged to rotate through different programs to see what other opportunities in banking were available to me.”
As Jennifer’s banking career progressed, she found that a common trait in the group of influencers in her life was that they all saw things in her that she didn’t see yet.
“At the time, I was enrolled at the Art Institute of Philadelphia for interior design but I wasn’t fully committed to that path and was having difficulty balancing school with my growing role at the bank. It was funny, because I never saw myself as a banker, but I also had a foundation of mentors who kept encouraging me.”
Jennifer pivoted from interior design school to focus solely on her banking career and set her sights on becoming an assistant branch manager. There was one catch, though.
“To be an assistant branch manager, I had to take on the role of head teller first,” said Jennifer. “It wasn’t the role I was expecting, but I saw the value in it and am forever grateful for my mentors’ support as I pursued the next steps in my career.”
“As my career in banking progressed, I was attending more networking events. One of the first questions a new connection would ask was always ‘So, where did you go to school?’ One of my former managers had been pushing me to go back to get my degree. He said, ‘You can do it, and it’s one thing nobody can ever take from you.’”
Jennifer decided to take a one-step-at-a-time approach.
“Instead of looking at it as one huge goal, I took one class at a time, eventually earning my Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Wilmington University. I couldn’t have done it without WSFS’ support. Jeremy Shackleford and Shari Kruzinski really got behind me to make it work.”
In her time at WSFS, Jennifer has found even more opportunities to grow.
“I’ve learned more in the last two and a half years at WSFS than I could have imagined,” said Jennifer. “A huge part of that is the culture here. I feel included and that my ideas and opinions matter. One of my mentors once said, ‘I just want to feel like I’m making a difference.’ At WSFS, I feel that way every day.”
As her career has progressed to Retail Office Manager and now Vice President, Small Business Relationship Manager, Jennifer has an even greater appreciation for banking and her mentors.
“You don’t always see it in real time when you are being challenged to reach your potential. But it is worth it. Take that leap.”
Adds Jennifer, “That’s been the most rewarding part of my journey. I look at banking as a platform to reach people to make a difference in their lives. I’m so grateful to have a job where I can combine my passions to help people and encourage them to invest in themselves.”
Click here to learn about career and advancement opportunities at WSFS.
About the Author – Eric Springer
Eric Springer is Assistant Vice President, Integrated Communications Manager at WSFS Bank. He brings more than 15 years’ experience in corporate communications and marketing for banking, professional services and nonprofit organizations.
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