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Crash Event

Colloquia and Curveballs

You think you’ve got life figured out and suddenly, destiny throws you a curveball.

That is not to say that all curveballs are bad. Google defines a curve as “a line or outline that gradually deviates from being straight for some or all of its length.” The keyword “deviates” perfectly explains the effect this curve ball has taken on my career; it has led me to question whether I should continue on my current career path or diverge into something I’ve newly discovered a passion for within the credit union industry.

While I was in high school, I decided that I would study finance in college and obtain a job as an Accountant. It was my ultimate goal. Being one of the first in my family to attend college and, furthermore, the first to obtain a white-collar job, I have accomplished that goal. Fast forward a few years and I continue to love my career. I have now set new goals in climbing the corporate ladder; Senior Accountant, Financial Analyst, Controller, CFO, etc.

Best of all, I work in a great industry where the main focus is helping others improve their lives and achieve financial goals.

Late August, the President of my organization forwarded me an email regarding the applications for becoming a Crasher at the War for Talent Colloquium in Austin, TX. Little did I know, this would be the start of something wonderful.

This colloquium and the entire Crasher experience is my curveball. At the colloquium, I was exposed to a world that I was not quite familiar with: talent acquisition and human resources. Although I have had some involvement in improving employee morale and corporate culture through my participation in the Employee Relations Committee in my organization, I have not had a direct role in the decision-making process of searching for talent, retaining employees, providing career development or terminating employees.

Every single presenter at the colloquium provided insightful information on the subject. Dr. Sekou Bermiss’ research report, The Laws of Attraction: Credit Union Recruitment in a Competitive Labor Market, provided key findings that can help a credit union become more attractive to applicants by providing a guideline as to how to evaluate the recruiting strategies as well as the organizational fit. Dr. Quinetta Roberson focused on branding and how that can have both negative and positive effects. Deedee Meyers, Rebecca Bower and Debbie Hilton all brought in different perspectives and their own experiences as recruiting agents. James Schenk, CEO of PenFed FCU, spoke of how his rather aggressive approach to obtaining highly talented individuals has benefited his organization. And lastly, Daron Roberts provided us with his remarkable story of how he transitioned from Harvard Law Student to NFL coach.

The presenters, along with all the amazing people I met (Lauren, my fellow Crashers, Visa representatives, other Filene associates) made this an amazing experience. It reassured me that I am, indeed, in the correct industry and it left me hungry for more!

I want to continue to learn and get more involved in the industry. I want to continue my path in finance while also find ways to become involved in the “people” aspect of it. I want to help make an impact on people as well as my organization and the industry.

Lastly, I want to thank Lauren and everyone at Filene for organizing the colloquium and Crashers program as well as the President at my CU for having thrown this curveball at me!

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