How a challenging year's start led Wayland to a flourishing career at Bank of America
“Now working as a Relationship Banker at Bank of America has been a humbling experience,” shared Year Up alumnus, Wayland Zhang. “I loved starting as an intern and working my way up, and learning each role as I advance in my career.”
Wayland’s path to a career at one of the most prominent financial services companies in the world started amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. A friend at Baruch College told him about Year Up, and Wayland saw an opportunity.
“As a number of jobs at the time continued to move towards remote work, Year Up was there to offer me a chance to still grow professionally during such a tough year for us all.”
My team at Bank of America cared about my success and wanted to support me in my career advancement—I simply couldn’t have asked for anything better than that.
Relationship Banker, Bank of America
At Year Up, Wayland specialized in Client Services and Sales Support, where he learned key technical skills in areas like consumer banking, sales, and customer relationship management (CRM). He also developed valuable professional skills like complex problem solving, business communication, and time management. That training, paired with his natural curiosity and being financially savvy, set Wayland up for success at his internship as a Relationship Banker at one of Bank of America’s high-profile financial centers in New York City.
At Bank of America, Wayland quickly discovered he had a knack for building a rapport with clients, and by the end of his internship, Wayland was hired on full-time.
“When I first came to work at the financial center, I had so many questions, and so many of my questions were answered and guided by the most caring people in the company,” explained Wayland. “My team at Bank of America cared about my success and wanted to support me in my career advancement—I simply couldn’t have asked for anything better than that.”
“I feel that I am making an impact every single day when I go to work simply because I’m creating awareness and enthusiasm around financial products to our clients, while keeping the conversations about it light and engaging,” he continued. “I always learn and listen best in a positive and educational environment, so I try to employ that same methodology at the financial center.”
With the support of his managers, Wayland is working toward becoming a Relationship Manager at Bank of America, and hopes to continue building a rewarding career with the company. He is also planning to complete his degree in finance and investment at Baruch.
When asked what advice he would give to his past self, taking stock of his accomplishments throughout the past year, he offered, “Be your true self, maximize every opportunity you get, and always have something funny ready to share.”
Wayland is one of more than 1,850 Year Up interns hosted and 830 graduates hired by Bank of America since our partnership began in 2006. Today, Bank of America hosts hundreds of Year Up interns per year across the country—enabling the bank to bring a pipeline of dynamic, talented, and diverse young adults through their doors and deliver on their commitment to improve economic mobility by connecting more individuals to sustainable career pathways.