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Three Generations in Banking
When most little girls are eight years of age, their main interests are sleepovers and Barbie dolls; this was not the case for Stasia Krahling. Growing up with a legacy of banking professionals in her family, Stasia's interest was deep-seated in the financial industry as the third generation of bankers, "My Grandfather, Father, and Mother were all in the financial industry and worked for Wells Fargo, so it was almost a natural progression for me to work for this organization that had been such a great part of my family for generations."
On occasion, Stasia, an only child, could be found at the center of many team events. "When no babysitters were available, I would trail along with my parents to these events, and I was thrilled that the guests would speak to me as if I was an adult. I just loved it and knew from that moment that this is what I wanted to do when I grew up." Stasia's Mom wanted to be sure that this was truly her choice, so she encouraged Stasia to pursue other interests as well, but in the end, she would remain in the field she loved as a child. Stasia has been at Wells Fargo for ten years, working her way up from her first position as a teller to her current position as Senior Premier Banker.
There are people I have met over the years who say that they love their job, but for Stasia, it is not just a job, it is who she is, and this is evident from the first encounter you have with her. It is not only that she loves what she is doing, but she is clearly an expert in her field. "I love the ability to make true connections and build relationships. I love being able to impact my clients' lives and to be part of their major life moments. This position allows me the foundation to help others achieve their dreams."
I asked Stasia to share with us a typical day in her life. "One of the greatest things I love about what I do is that no two days are the same. This is perfect for me as I enjoy not knowing what each day may bring. A day in my life includes client meetings, addressing any client inquiries that may come in or just touching base to see if my clients need any assistance. This is a part of what I love about what I do. I love being part of their lives and enjoy being with them during life changing events. I have the privilege of being part of some of their greatest moments. For instance, when they are getting married, when a new child or grandchild comes into their lives, when they are planning to retire, selling a business or even when they travel on vacation. Whenever there is a huge life event, I get the opportunity to help lead them through it."
Stasia is not alone in these moments. Wells Fargo has a vast financial team that will work with her clients to assure that they receive the best advice and planning possible from those who specialize in each process, ensuring that experts in each area are there to meet their current and future needs.
"Listening and understanding the needs of my clients is of utmost importance to me. So much of what I do includes bringing my clients together with the experts in every area so that they get insight and the best opportunity to succeed in whatever they hope to accomplish. We are very much a team, and we realize that it takes a team to assure absolute success in varied situations."
Aside from the strong responsibility Stasia feels for her clients, she also is an integral part of the branch in which she works. "I'm located in a branch that allows me to coach and mentor other bankers and tellers and also assist my branch manager in a multitude of ways. I enjoy sitting down with my team members and learning what is important to them."
Stasia started her career at Wells Fargo and has no desire to leave this financial institution, so I had to ask what it is that makes Wells Fargo different than the multitude of banks and financial institutions that seem to be springing up all over. “I have friends at other financial institutions, so I have gained insight into what makes Wells Fargo stand out. I can genuinely say we have a vast number of resources. From our senior leadership down, it is unparalleled. We have the personnel to assist with any financial need that our clients require. The other reason it is such an outstanding place to work is that the senior leadership cares not only about my professional development but also my personal development. When they see me, the first thing that comes up is how is your husband? How is your family? How are you doing? What exciting things are on the horizon for you? To me, that creates a family atmosphere and is grounding. This makes me know that I am where I'm supposed to be, and I truly believe that is the differentiating factor that makes Wells Fargo such a wonderful place to work.
Knowing that Stasia was raised in a family of bankers, I knew that a lot of her career success came from her familiarity with the industry and being involved from an early age, but I wondered if she had any mentors who directly impacted her life and career. "I've been blessed to have many mentors in my life. My original mentors are my Father and Mother. In addition, I have been paired with various partners along my Wells Fargo journey. Kim Shores, Private Wealth Advisor at Wells Fargo, has been an incredible mentor. She has expanded my professional and personal way of thinking, and it was truly all organic. We had a work experience that brought us together, but it didn't end there. We continued to develop our relationship, and I now view her as a partner and friend. No matter what I talk with her about, I know I will receive her honest feedback and thoughts, allowing me to brainstorm with her. I've been blessed over and over again with the mentors that I have encountered, and I'm passionate about learning. So, I will always seek out mentorship."
I asked Stasia what suggestions she would provide to readers interested in a similar career path. "The number one suggestion I would make is to always be curious and never stop learning. Professional development is key in this area; the more information you garner, the more valuable you are to your clients. If you don't have a mentor, seek one out. There is a lot to be said for experience and having someone who can answer any questions that may arise during your career. All of this starts by being curious."
So how important was the education you attained before coming to work at Wells Fargo? "Education is important, but one of the greatest parts of working for Wells Fargo is the level of ongoing training that is available to employees. They have an incredible training program. Their training program is not only for those new to the company. They have an extensive program to provide continuing education. All of these courses are one hundred percent optional, and many are just a mouse click away. I am a creature that loves to learn, so I have explored the available videos and seminars and found them to be extremely informative. So yes, education is important in this field as things change, and to do your job expertly, you need to be up to date on the many different options for our clients. I do, however, have colleagues who did not have the same level of education that I had before coming to work here, but with the education element provided at Wells Fargo, they are some of the most knowledgeable counterparts that I have."
As always, we at San Diego Woman Magazine love to learn about all aspects of the lives of our Women of Distinction, so I asked Stasia about her personal life. Her face lit up when she mentioned her husband, Ricky. "I've been happily married for five years to my incredible husband, Ricky. We dated for about six years before that. I have no children yet; however, this is definitely on the horizon. Before this great life-changing experience comes, we are just enjoying each other, and the time we spend together". And are they ever? The happy couple just returned from a two-week trip to Italy and France, including an incredible nine-day cruise through Italy. "We both love to travel, so I am happy to say we have managed to take an amazing vacation each year that allows us to see some of the most beautiful and romantic destinations in the world."
Stasia also is blessed to have a very close relationship with her parents. "My Mom and Dad live close to us, which is very important since I am an only child. They are a great source of support to both of us, and I can always go to them to pick their brains on all subject matters.”
With a job that is rarely nine-five, Stasia often is called upon by clients during her off hours, so I couldn't help but ask how her husband feels about her dedication to her career, which sometimes may interfere with her personal time with him. "My husband will probably have a completely different answer, but I will say it's an ongoing effort, and I can admit that I'm still in the process of mastering my work-life balance. I do appreciate that Wells Fargo allows me to expand beyond the traditional hours. But also on the flip side, Wells Fargo also supports a true work-life balance, and it is not at all a requirement placed on me to address calls or emails outside of my workday. In my mind it is crucial that my clients know that I'm a resource always available to them because life evolves very quickly. It does not occur on a nine-to-five schedule, so being able to address their needs quickly and thoughtfully, is essential. I have tried to follow this mantra when it comes to balancing the work-life balance. When I'm at work, I am at work. When I am with friends, I'm with friends. When I'm with my husband and my family, I am with them. I am attempting to master the ability to be present with those I love."
As an only child, Stasia developed a bunch of great friends with whom she loves spending time. "Since I don't have siblings, my close girlfriends are my sisters. And so, we will make every effort to have monthly zoom calls, lunches, or dinners, and even though we are all busy with our day to day lives, we always make an attempt to spend time with one another."
I asked Stasia what her true passions were. "Judy, I have three passions. I have a passion for learning, a passion for helping others, and I am passionate about traveling."
What is one of the life lessons you have learned as a result of your position at Wells Fargo? "I think it is learning to not stress or worry over things that are out of my control. Because stress and worry are mental destroyers, and it's only a waste of capacity and energy when we are stressing over an item that we have no power over."
Stasia shared some tips for those choosing a similar profession. "My first suggestion is to be fearless in pursuing your career aspirations and dreams. Don't let your own mind be your worst enemy. Be fearless and run full speed ahead. Have the confidence to always be moving forward. How do you build confidence? It goes back to learning, reaching out to your counterparts, and reaching out to your partners. Encourage yourself and set yourself up in the best way possible for success. And it always starts with you. I think so often; people are, in a sense looking for direction right away or looking to be handed things to make them more successful. That's not a reality. You have to cultivate and create your own success."
Stasia Krahling has earned her successes, both personally and professionally by treating everyone she encounters with care and concern. From the first conversation I had with Stasia I knew how professional she was, but even more importantly, how caring she was. Her upbeat and positive outlook are refreshing and the fact that she treats each client as if they were her only one, creates a sense of calm in tumultuous times. She is not only someone you can trust with your money, but she is someone you can trust with your well-being.