Ross Corbat’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing.
Zach Felty, his former boss at Burger King, was on a mission. Zach had left his general manager role at Burger King to join Gateway Financial Solutions a year earlier.
Now, he wanted Ross to do the same.
“For an entire year, Zach would call me and say, ‘You gotta come to Gateway,’” Ross laughed. “But I wasn’t looking for a job transition. I was a Central Michigan University student studying Communications and English. I wanted to be a teacher. I’m not a big car guy.”
Still, Zach kept trying to convince Ross to make the switch. And because Ross trusted him – and liked what Zach had to say – he decided to listen.
“Zach knew the culture was good here, and he knew I was reaching exhaustion,” Ross explained. “I was doing my final semester at CMU, and I had enough at Burger King. I didn’t want to chase the teaching job market, which was brutal. It was time.”
In November 2017, Ross officially joined Gateway Financial Solutions.
Now in his current role – the first of its kind at GFS – as a Collections Training and Development Coordinator, he gets to use his teaching background in a unique way to help new hires transition successfully into the company.
Sometimes, it just takes a call…or two…or several….to end up right where you belong.
Finding a Seat on the Bus
For Ross, Garber’s interview process made it clear that the company had the type of culture he wanted…even if it was vastly different from what he was used to.
“I remember thinking that the interview was a lot more relaxed than I was expecting,” Ross said. “Erika Ardouin [Director of Recruiting] was like, ‘I’m fascinated that you have a communications background.’ She presented working here as, ‘What we have here is great. How do you fit? What can we do for Ross?’”
Ross was hired as part of the Customer Service team. Since he was still going to school, Gateway was flexible and understanding of his schedule.
“I did 12-hour days with Gateway and then went to school on Tuesday/Thursday and spent Saturdays here at the office,” he explained. “I graduated in May and worked in customer service until I transitioned to the Early Payment Default team.”
Then he became a portfolio collector. Things changed for Ross.
“I felt like I was in way over my head,” Ross explained. “It was tough. I really struggled. I was trained so heavily in one way; I was not an aggressor. It was a switching of a mindset.”
Though Ross felt he was in a role that wasn’t the right fit, Gateway did not give up on him.
“We had conversations, and I was told consistently that my presence was impactful,” he said. “I was the right person in the wrong seat. But the culture was right for me.”
Other companies might have pushed him to the side. Not Gateway.
Ross transitioned back onto the Level 1 Collections Team. Then he was asked a question that changed everything.
“My supervisor said to me, ‘What do you want to do for a career?’” Ross said. “I realized I wanted to blend teaching and passion for what we have in place here. Normally that’s for managers, but it helped me land my current role.”
It was like putting a fish in water. Ross was ready to swim.
The Right Fit
Ross stepped into a new role helping train new team members. He loves what he does today.
“I almost left the company, but this role was like a lifeline,” he said. “It’s fantastic. Our management made a big push to keep me. Other companies don’t have what we have. We have a strong push for the right person, right seat.”
He said Gateway’s adaptability and dedication to helping him find a position that worked well for Ross and the company shows how dedicated they are to their people.
“I’m very grateful for this company,” Ross said. “It was incredibly surprising that they kept trying to find something for me. It’s a nice blend of my skill sets and something that I didn’t have here. I love my role. This is what I pictured my teaching career being like, but even nicer.”
Thanks to his time at Gateway, Ross said he’s changed for the better.
“Confidence-wise, I’m a lot more ready to take on tasks that I originally didn’t think I could handle,” he said. “Ross in 2015 would never have done this. Working here now is a staple for me and my life.”
So Zach was right, then?
“Zach was beyond right,” Ross laughed. “I thank him all the time.”
First concert? White Snake in 7th grade
First car? Mazda 2006. Candy apple red.
Favorite meal? Burger & fries
Three words to describe your personality? Caring, funny, overthinker
Bucket list item? Go to the Super Bowl