“45 years at NAB, it’s gone quickly”

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NAB Customer Advisor Deb Willis meets NAB CEO Ross McEwan.

Deb Willis was completing secretarial college in Hobart when she decided to accept a job in banking.

“I had the interview with NAB and when I got back to the secretarial college they said the bank had called. When I rang back they told me I had the job,” Deb said.

“I had also been accepted into nursing but that wasn’t for six months, and I thought banking will be better than nursing.”

Deb started in a ledger role then did branch relief work, travelling all over the south of Tasmania.

“I learned a lot in the small branches doing lots of different jobs. I was a Branch Administration Officer and I enjoyed that the most, it was really different.”

During her career at NAB Deb has raised three children and said NAB supported her across all the different stages of her life.

“I didn’t even know if I wanted children, but as soon as I had my first one, my focus went from my career, and banking, to my family. And I was definitely able to switch my focus to that, the bank enabled that.”

Deb has seen a lot of change during her time at NAB. When digital banking was first introduced, Deb admits customers were resistant to change.

“There was resistance from people initially, and I was one of them! I thought telephone banking was great,” Deb said.

“Then, the first time I logged into Internet Banking I thought ‘Oh my goodness, what a fool I am. This is so much better.’ From then I was fully onboard with supporting customers to embrace digital banking.”

Deb said technology has brought about the most change, and opportunity to learn.

“Technology has changed my job enormously too – I don’t feel like I’m in the same job I joined NAB for,” Deb said.

“I feel sometimes like a duck, paddling madly underwater trying to keep up with the technology, but the ‘kids’ in their twenties and thirties at the bank are so great imparting their knowledge and helping me along.”

The more things change, however, the more some things stay the same and for Deb the constant has been serving customers, something she enjoys most.

“Helping people is the most rewarding thing…I really get a kick out of getting to know different people – you can’t paint them all with the same brush. I’ve had 90-year-olds embrace Internet Banking and 40-year-olds be more resistant. It just shows you can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Deb believes the connections she has built with customers demonstrate the importance of being a relationship-led bank.

“It’s important to earn their trust,” said Deb.

Now, Deb is looking forward and plans to retire next year.

That’s something she spoke about with NAB CEO Ross McEwan during his recent visit to Tasmania.

“I enjoyed meeting him. He wanted me to stay on at NAB, but I think after 45 years I’ve done enough! I’m happy to go out on a high.”

Our colleagues have an impact far beyond work, supporting customers when they need us and contributing to stronger, more sustainable communities. To find out more about career opportunities at NAB visit the Careers at NAB website. 

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