Today@Sam Article

Bearkat Internships: Tyren Willis

Jan. 9, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Campbell Atkins

The following story is part of a series of Today@Sam articles that feature select SHSU students who participated in internships over the summer or in recent months. If you or a Bearkat you know would like their internship considered, email

Tyren Wil squareSam Houston State University graduate Tyren Willis knows every bank is different.

Just like a new city, a new bank comes with its own intricacies and distinctions. Since securing his internship with the Texas Department of Banking in the summer of 2022, Willis has seen his fair share of both.

“Each bank has different kinds of earning and risk profiles,” said Willis, who turned his successful internship with the regulatory agency into full-time employment in the fall. “Being a part of the regulatory side, you sit down and talk with management, CEOs or high-level loan officers and explain the health of their bank, what direction they should pivot toward or what they should do to boost certain aspects of the bank that may be susceptible to certain regulations in place.”

Willis began his journey from Bearkat to bank regulator in Huntsville last February when he attended a career fair on campus. The finance major already knew which field he wanted to work in, but he was still looking for something specific to jump out at him.

“I thought about going into advising, but when I got to the career fair and saw all my options, my biggest fear was getting into a boring, corporate job,” Willis said. “Then I found the regulators, who gave me a great rundown of what they do as well as their salary and benefits. I connected with some of the professionals there, who are two of my coworkers now.”

After the fair, all finance and banking majors at SHSU received an email from the Texas Department of Banking with the news that they had internships open.

“I literally ran down the stairs with my resume,” Willis said. “Later, they sent another email on who would be getting interviews and I was the last of six people. I got a call two weeks after the interview saying they wanted to bring me in.”

Willis praised SHSU for its role in his internship and subsequent employment. He believes his courses at Sam assisted him with much of the spreadsheet analysis he would have to perform early on as well as what goes on inside a bank.

“Ever since Professor Jill Vaughan came in at the new banking center, she has brought nothing but light to the program here to the point where we can compete with some of the bigger schools in the state,” Willis said.

His internship, which lasted from June to August in Round Top and Woodville, consisted of learning the ins and outs of the industry as well as more tedious regulatory assignments. While he is now a full-time regulator, the learning process never really ends.

“Things change all the time,” Willis said. “Every time we go to a different bank, there is something new to learn and explore. It is interesting to see how these banks compete with each other and how they assess the market as far as loan demands.”

The biggest change from intern to full-time regulator, aside from the added responsibilities, was his travel schedule. Willis currently travels to different banks throughout Texas to perform his duties and update the banks on their regulatory standings and procedures.

“It has really been full-speed ahead,” Willis said. “I’ve been traveling to different cities and staying in different hotels to look over everything that goes on inside of the bank. Overall, the job is about keeping consumer confidence. A lot of people trust these banks with their money, so they have to be able to trust a bank that knows what they are doing.”

Willis has greatly enjoyed the first months of his new career, which all stemmed from an internship and a career day at SHSU. While he enjoys life on the road, the agency also provides a good balance with every other Friday off

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