My 11 year credit union journey

More than 11 years ago, I began my career in the financial industry as a teller. At the time, I didn’t really know it would become a career. In all truth, I was just a 17 year old that needed a job. Three years later, I found myself stumbling up on the credit union movement. I was offered a job in the Call Center at La Capitol Federal Credit Union, and I gladly accepted it. Still, at this point I only needed a job, and I wasn’t expecting a career. As I began to learn and grow in that role, I started to feel as if I were on to something. I found a career that fit me, and I wanted to learn all that I could about it. Over the next few years I served in several capacities ranging from Loan Underwriting, Electronic Services, to Branch Management and Business Development. I was enjoying every moment of it, but I still had a desire to learn more, do more, and become more.

One morning, while glancing over one of my social networks I stumbled up on the Next Top Credit Union Exec competition.  Something about it felt right to me, and I immediately went to my CEO and EVP for their blessing to compete. I didn’t know if I would win or not, but I knew that I wanted to try. The first thing I did was develop a project that I was passionate about. Then, I assembled a team to brainstorm, develop, and implement it. Lastly, I solicited the counsel of experienced executives to help me in navigating through the process. The end resulted in me finishing as Runner Up nationally, and having the opportunity to attend the CEO Institute I. The knowledge I gained from that experience has helped to shape the career I have today.

Along with competing in the Next Top Credit Union Executive Competition, I also had great mentors along the way. One of my biggest mentors was our former VP of Marketing. She challenged me, she listened, and she helped me to develop a confidence in myself. My previous CEO also conducted countless one on one mentoring sessions with me offering wisdom, knowledge, and insights about our industry. Then there was the current CEO of La Capitol FCU that took the time to expand my knowledge of the financials, and to give me opportunities to work on projects that sharpened my skills set. I have had many other mentors, but these are just a few who have helped me along the way.

CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec is back for a third round, and some young professional is counting on you."

Receiving that type of mentorship and validation from your superiors is such a critical piece in the development of a young professional. Often times, as young professionals we question what we know, and how well we are doing. Having a seasoned executive to take their personal time can do wonders for a young professional’s career.

Just one year after competing in CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec, and after years of mentorship, I received the opportunity to become the CEO of Shell Geismar Federal Credit Union. The challenge has been exciting, but I am so grateful to CUES, and my mentors at La Capitol FCU for preparing me for this moment. Will you do the same for someone else?

CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec is back for a third round, and some young professional is counting on you. They are counting on you to show them that you believe in them. They are counting on you to give them direction. They are counting on you for mentorship. Nominate someone today. Who knows how you may impact their life, and this movement for years to come?