Chantel Cochrane
Chantel Cochrane

Once a banker, always a banker

Chantel Cochrane speaks passionately about her journey in growing Bank Windhoek's Karasburg branch
Desiree Gases
Born in Windhoek, Chantel Cochrane moved to Cape Town, South Africa, in 1990. She returned to Namibia and settled in Gobabis in 1993, where she matriculated.

Cochrane started her banking career in 2002 and worked at Bank Windhoek's Gobabis branch from 2005 to 2011 as a personal assistant, loan and collateral officer, and credit clerk.

"I left for a few years and rejoined the bank in Tsumeb in 2017 as a relationship officer working with a business banker," said Cochrane.

She said she was privileged to be appointed Bank Windhoek's Karasburg branch manager in 2021.

In her current role, Cochrane oversees and coordinates all operations for Bank Windhoek's Karasburg branch and Noordoewer agency. With the assistance and guidance of the bank's human capital department, Cochrane is directly responsible for hiring staff, developing goals and analysing financial information.

"It also includes managing people and being a mentor and leader. I am also required to be visible and assist our customers by providing them with excellent customer service," she said.

Challenges and opportunities

Careers asked Cochrane what some of her challenges and achievements have been throughout her banking journey. She said her best accomplishment was her promotion as manager of Bank Windhoek's Karasburg branch.

"Believing in my abilities and myself and not giving up was my drive," she said. Regarding challenges, Cochrane said that moving from the far north to the far south, the change in community, getting the staff to know and trust her, and building a solid team were some of the challenges she faced.

Despite these, she looks forward to watching her team grow, meeting targets, making the right decisions, and creating calm and reassurance for the future.

"I plan to lead Bank Windhoek's Karasburg branch as one of Namibia's most profitable small branches. With the support of my team, we plan to expand the business more south and gain more customers. I have a big passion for banking and love what I do," she said.

A typical day at work as a branch manager for Cochrane starts with reading a small motivational bible quote when getting into the office.

After this, she checks her diary for appointments and compiles a to-do list for the day. This is followed by credit meetings, where they discuss reports and how to manage their workload.

At 08:30, the bank opens for business.

She then answers emails and makes calls for part of the day as she manages the branch functions, including the signing of credit applications and administration documents.

Careers asked Cochrane to give the youth a message, and she said: "My message to the youth would be to believe in themselves, to learn and grow, and always be positive. Opportunities do not always happen; you need to create them. It is never too late to be what you might have been."


Namibian Sun 2023-12-07

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