We recently spoke with Hilary Dickson, group manager for deposit, lending and onboarding product, about tips for managing a team in a virtual environment and how the pandemic changed the way she views her coworkers.

How long have you been with UMB Bank?

I recently celebrated my 11th anniversary at UMB and have been part of the product management team in different roles throughout my time at the bank. After graduating with my finance degree from the University of Iowa, I worked at Ernst and Young as a financial consultant where I performed engagements for leaders in the banking industry. I’ve always had a passion for the banking industry and I’m grateful to have spent most of my time with a company that puts such a strong emphasis on relationships and culture—that is a huge part of my team, and the company’s success.

How have you managed working from home over the past several months?

I like to say I was working from home before it became cool. My experience is unique because I’ve been working outside of UMB’s footprint for the past 10 years and was used to managing my team of six remotely. So, while everyone was getting used to the new virtual environment, I was able to share my experiences with others. The biggest lesson I’ve learned being remote is that it’s important to slow down and build and maintain relationships with your coworkers and clients—even if it means spending extra time to do so. The benefits of these connections will benefit you in the long run.

What has been something positive that you have gained from this experience?

Something positive that came out of the pandemic was seeing my peers and our leadership team in a different light. Before the pandemic, it seemed taboo or unprofessional to hear your dog barking or have your kids pop up in the video, but with most people working from home, it became very common to see glimpses into each other’s lives. It allowed people to be seen in a personal setting, which resulted in a different type of connections with each other. It was nice to see my coworkers as more than just coworkers and more as people who are going through the same challenging situation as me—it was very rewarding and brought a renewed sense of community.

What does your ideal day off look like?

Anything that involves relaxing and not having to make decisions is a good day off for me. I love to read, workout and catch up on a good movie.

Tell us about your family.

I have been married to my husband, Kevin, for nine years and we have two kids, Jacob, 8, and Adalyn, 6 and a 14-year-old miniature dachshund, Auggie. The first months of the pandemic being a working mom and a teacher for my kids was tough (along with the rest of the last 18 months of the unique environment we are in), and I’m grateful for the support and emphasis on work-life balance that UMB has supported to help make navigating the pandemic easier for our family.

What is your favorite vacation memory?

Growing up, my family and I always went to a lake resort in Minnesota, so anytime I can be on the water is my idea of a perfect vacation. Over the summer, Kevin and I took the kids for a long weekend to Table Rock Lake where we spent our days swimming, relaxing and recharging—it was exactly the kind of getaway trip we needed after the chaos of the last few months.

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