Jamie Johnson is a Vice President and Compliance Officer at Farmers Bank in Virginia. She’s been in the banking industry for over 14 years and is President for the current junior class of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. While her day-to-day role at Farmers Bank has her managing the compliance management program for deposit and lending compliance, her self-proclaimed role as an “eternal student,” led her to GSBLSU to further her knowledge and experience in the banking industry.
“As a compliance officer I’m constantly learning or pivoting my focus to the newest regulation or area of concern,” says Jamie. Furthering her education was the most effective option to enhance her knowledge on major banking functions. “I had a desire to better understand the areas of banking that I do not normally encounter.”
Before enrolling at GSBLSU, Jamie completed her state association’s banking school in Virginia, but still felt like she had more to learn. “At graduation I jokingly asked them to add another year to the program so I could return,” she jokes. It was at this point that the Graduate School of Banking at LSU was suggested. She would be the first attendee from her bank and checked with friends and peers from around the state who had already attended GSBLSU. “Once I compared all of my options, GSBLSU was the clear answer for continued learning.”
One of the greatest benefits that Jamie has received during her time at GSBLSU is the connections she’s made. “The caliber of people who attend GSBLSU are some of the best I’ve ever met,” remarks Jamie. Even in spite spending one session in a virtual environment, the relationships she’s made with instructors, staff, and classmates have been her favorite aspect. “We have bonded and created support systems with each other. Whether we are answering questions, sharing best practices, or discussing sports, the comradery between everyone has immeasurable value.”
While there are many courses and concentrations, Leading Through Motivation with Steve Robichaux was one of Jamie’s favorite classes and professors. “Leadership classes are not promoted enough, yet it is a subject where there is always room to grow,” says Jamie. She finds the takeaways from this particular class valuable, not only at her bank, but in life.
Although GSBLSU is a premier educational destination for banking professionals, it also offers many experiences outside of the classroom. “We start our mornings early in the gym, float the lazy river in the afternoon, and spend several nights with class parties and study sessions,” remembers Jamie. “We always go to dinner as a group and make several trips to The Chimes. I even learned how to eat crawfish, and surprisingly, liked them!”
As the Junior Class President, Jamie has some words of wisdom for anyone who is considering furthering their education and career. “Attending GSBLSU is not a decision that I would take lightly. It is a big commitment that involves leaving your family for two weeks, studying for exams, and writing papers in between the in-person sessions, all on top of the responsibilities in your bank. However, if you are willing to put in the effort and do the work, the reward is worth it.”