One day at the office I received an email from my manager with information on Crashing the Cornerstone Leadership Conference. I didn’t fully understand what the “Crash” group was, but I knew I was interested in attending the conference to learn more about credit union leadership. I submitted my application but I figured there would be so many applicants I would never actually get accepted. When I received the email stating I was accepted I was so excited! I called my manager, let all my co-workers know, I even texted my mom about it. I still didn’t have a full understanding of what the crash group would be doing, but I was thrilled to attend the conference. The grant provided by Cornerstone CU Foundation gave me the opportunity to participate in this conference that I would otherwise not be able to attend.
During the event, I learned how the crash group originated and what set this group apart from other conference attendees. In addition to attending the leadership conference, our group had extra sessions where we had the opportunity to meet with credit union executives and keynote speakers in a much smaller, more personal setting. This allowed us to gain insight into their personal philosophies which helped them become successful. We got to learn their stories of how they got where they are today and could openly ask questions about anything and everything.
After the daily sessions were over, the crash group stuck together until late in the evening. The socializing revolved largely around credit union culture and leadership strategies. We discussed current issues facing our credit union and what solutions we have developed. We thought about how we could become better advocates for all credit unions, not just our own. The time spent building relationships with my fellow crashers was invaluable. I made several new contacts that I know I can reach out to in the future for support or ideas.
I returned to work inspired, energized, and motivated to share what I learned and implement new ideas. The entire event was an eye opening experience which allowed me to see a much higher level of the credit union industry. It helped me grow both personally and professionally. I plan to apply for crash events again in the future and I highly recommend any young professionals looking to grow in the credit union industry to do the same!