- Point Arena High School
- Sierra College (Rocklin, CA) – Associates Degree
- California State University Sacramento – Bachelor of Arts in Communications with emphasis in Public Relations
Advice to PA students regarding college/career dreams:
Your dreams and aspirations will change over time as you get older and have different life experiences. Some of these experiences will be planned and others will be unexpected, but all will impact the way your future will develop. Remain open minded and know that your path will have twists, turns and setbacks and will not always go as planned. How you react to your journey will build your character and change how you see the world and how the world sees you.
Set modest, but challenging goals. Once you have achieved your goals, set new ones. Feeling uncomfortable and getting outside of your element will help you grow, so embrace change and the challenges that come with it.
My name is David Davis and I am originally from Point Arena. I attended Elementary, Middle and High School in Point Arena and graduated in 1992. My plan after High School was to join the Air Force, but due to the United States fighting in the Gulf War and at my brother’s recommendation, I did not join the military. I was at a crossroad because I didn’t have a backup plan or any plan at all, so I got a full time job as an entry level carpenter building homes in The Sea Ranch. I knew that this is not what I wanted to do for a living, so I had to figure out my next step.
I never considered college as an option until about six months into my career as a carpenter.
Many of my classmates and friends had already left for college, but I didn’t have any idea where to start since college was never a consideration for me. My friends were attending UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State University, Saint Mary’s University and Cal Poly SLO, but I couldn’t attend a University because I had not properly prepared to continue my education. My option was to attend a Community College. I selected Sierra College in Rocklin, CA because they were one of the few Community Colleges with Dorms.
In the fall of 1993, I moved from the only community I had ever known to begin my college career. I was excited to be in a new city where I could meet new people and start my life journey. I didn’t know it at the time, but 1993 would be one of the most formative years of my life. Not only did I meet lifelong friends, but I also met people who would become part of my professional network.
Nearing the end of my time at Sierra College, I applied for admission and was accepted to San Diego State University. Due to an unexpended life event, I didn’t move to San Diego as planned, so I accepted a transfer to California State University Sacramento as a Business Major. After several semesters of being over my head and struggling to pass classes, I took a semester off to regroup. This became a pattern for me unfortunately and I considered dropping out of College, but again, I didn’t have a plan. I decided to stay in school because the majority of my friends were still in school. Fortunately, I enrolled in a Communications Class as an elective course, which I enjoyed immensely. I had a renewed energy for school once I learned that I could change my major to Communications. After meeting with guidance counselors, I was on a new path.
I loaded up on Communications classes and carried 15-18 units per semester because I had finally found something I was passionate about and I finally felt like I could be successful at school. Following the spring semester in 2001 I graduated with my Bachelors of Arts Degree from CSU Sacramento.
Following graduation, I was contacted by a couple of television news stations for some low paying entry level work. I passed on that option because I had friends who received offers from tech companies, Intel and NEC making twice as much.
I applied for several entry level sales jobs all over Sacramento and in the Bay Area and accepted a sales position in Pleasanton, CA for a promotional marketing company with a great base salary and commission structure. The job was great until the September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks. Just after Thanksgiving in 2001, my employer approached me with the news that I was being laid off because business had slowed significantly following the attacks and the company could no longer afford to keep me.
I moved back to Sacramento because that was where my friends were and I felt that had a better opportunity to find work. The economy was very bad at the time, but I was naive to that fact because I had very little professional work experience and low overhead, so my pain threshold was very high. I was unemployed until March 2002 when a friend who I had regularly played basketball with helped me get a job in banking. This friend had never attended college, but had worked his way up in the bank from being a teller to being the youngest branch manager for that particular bank in Sacramento.
Fast forward to 2017 and I am still in banking where I provide commercial financing for closely held businesses in San Diego, CA.
Keep in mind, my college degree did not prepare me for my banking career other than the fact that I hold a degree, which allowed me to be hired with no relevant banking experience. My career in banking has taken several turns and I have held several bank jobs. My professional growth path has prompted me over the years to continue my formal education by taking college accounting courses and credit underwriting courses to improve and maintain the knowledge needed to be successful in my banking career.
I have not yet reached my career goal of retirement, but due to the choices I have made and the education I have received, I am on the right path. I am married and have two young children. My wife and I highly value education because we realize the positive impact that attending college has had on our lives. We are preparing for our children to start kindergarten in the next couple of years with the hope that they will both attend college. My wife is also a banker and is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in Criminal Justice.
David M. Davis
Business Relationship Manager, Vice President
San Diego Business Banking