I manage a Capital One Bank Branch.
We usually start our day with a huddle, a lot like a sports team would, and discuss our success from the previous day and what we need to work on for the present day. Then, I generally start my daily procedures -reviewing reports, accounts, conference calls, etc - Afterwards, I spend the day with my staff and our customers. I coach team members to better their process and to help them become better well rounded associates. I assist them in growing individually as well as within the company.
Sales is huge. Any sales. A sales job will help you develop your people skills and dealing with different personality types. Also read/listen to Business news. Being familiar with the business environment will help you to have talking points and keep you up to date with what's going on within the industry.
Here's the first step for college students
Be familiar with the industry and be honest with yourself. Retail banking is a job that requires people skills and being sales savvy. It can be both challenging and very rewarding and you have to be able to be proactive in hitting your goals. It's a constantly changing environment that requires you to be adaptable and willing to take on new challenges while staying positive.
"Don't bother going to school just go to work. My family owned delis and that's what they wanted me to do."