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Follow A Crasher

Follow A Crasher, Week 3 Video: Bring All of Yourself to the Table

Follow A Crasher Week 3 Video: Sara DeLance from Filene Research on Vimeo.

Follow A Crasher

Follow A Crasher, Week 3: Making a Difference Inside and Out

Follow A Crasher

Follow A Crasher, Week 3: Channeling Credit Union Passion

Hi everyone!! I’m beyond excited to embark on my first blog experience with you all! I appreciate everyone’s support in this cool ‘Follow a Crasher’ series put on by The Cooperative Trust! When I’m not attempting to write a blog, I spend a good portion of my time at Heritage Family CU as the Senior Vice President of Retail in the gorgeous state of Vermont. I have a little family at home that keeps me grounded and relaxed. I serve as a Board of Director to an organization that offers services to underserved children and young parents, and I am so incredibly proud to be the Founder and Chair of the Credit Union Young Professionals of Vermont.

I want to share the first time I truly discovered my job had turned into a career.I, like most credit union young pro’s, fell in love with my credit union long before I really understood the impact of this movement.

My passion for helping members and finding ways to empower staff began almost the second I walked through the door… yes, as a teller.

Credit unions are where I have spent the bulk of my employment (at the ripe young age of 36), and while I’m not sure where my career path will take me, the one constant will be that I will remain in credit unions.

In thinking about some of the moments that have contributed to my affinity for credit unions, I recall the times that I was given a platform to share my ideas and knowledge. I often looked for opportunities to get in front of a crowd (even though public speaking petrifies me) to talk about credit unions and share ways that young pro’s can get involved. In fact, a challenge I faced early on was wanting to do TOO much. Hearing “not right now” was sometimes difficult feedback to manage.

It was in those moments that I realized it was up to me to channel my energy and passion in a meaningful way for my credit union and my community.

I also became enamored with networking and engaging with credit union people. This was the best outlet and truthfully one of the most profound ways for me to develop my skills, gain confidence, and develop a community for information sharing. Without contest, I am most grateful for the people I have met in this movement. They fuel my fire and encourage me to blossom.

Ok, so how does all this relate to Crashing? For some, Crashing is where it all begins! For me as an SVP, Crashing showcased everything I love about credit unions in a two-day invitation-only conference.

Crashing Filene’s big. bright. minds conference allowed me to be in a room that I wouldn’t normally have been in and meet individuals that I wouldn’t normally have had the chance to meet. It also showcased credit union knowledge in a proactive way that I hadn’t ever seen.

Needless to say, it was a major highlight of my ever growing career!

Editor’s note: Crash big. bright. minds. 2018 applications are now open through 10/20! Apply now and experience the Crash “magic” Sara wrote about!

Follow A Crasher

Follow A Crasher, Week 2 Video: Making an Impact

Follow A Crasher

Follow A Crasher, Week 2 Podcast: Making Credit Union Impact

Follow A Crasher

Follow A Crasher, Week 2 Blog: Life After Crash

The question we don’t ask before Crashing an event is, “What am I prepared to do after I Crash?”

Life after Crash

If you imagine doors would open at every turn, I’d say you’re about half-right. The doors are left ajar, but there is no door attendant waiting for you to walk through – that’s up to you. Creating opportunities, sustaining and maintaining the relationships you’ve started takes effort.

My life after Crashing the GAC in 2016 has been filled with excitement and learning, and then testing the boundaries of what I thought I was capable of to the realities of where I’m at in my career. By keeping in contact with my fellow Crashers and Crash mentors, I have been able to stay involved with The Cooperative Trust, Filene, and YP Groups across the nation. I’ve attended meetings with our state representatives to observe and learn about how credit unions work with their local governments. I’ve had opportunities to speak to local high school students about being successful after graduation, and I’ve been involved with speaking to foster youth over the last two years creating workshops to help improve financial literacy and organizational preparedness. Most recently, I earned my MBA – the hardest goal I’ve ever set for myself. All of these events happened after Crashing, but they were not handed to me, and the process is continuous.

The Challenge

As a Crasher, you get a firsthand look into the interworkings of the movement and your new goal is to stay there. This is the biggest challenge I’ve faced after Crashing the GAC. Going back to life after witnessing the excitement, learning, and the changes that take place is hard! After crashing, my career goal did a complete 180. I always thought I would enter into management. I now know that I am more interested in workshop facilitation, speaking opportunities, research, and information than I am in people management. This change in direction has been one of the hardest realizations to make for two reasons. First, I need to be comfortable with starting in a new field and not being an expert. Second, I need practice! I spent my entire college career (undergraduate and graduate school) presenting to classmates and audiences; I have not spent my career presenting to credit union professionals.

Crashing + MBA ≠ Job Offers

What am I Doing Now

Have you ever fulfilled a lifelong dream? It can be exhilarating; the rush that comes reminds me of my morning coffee ritual except there’s a double rainbow and a big plate of bacon and sourdough at the end. How do you keep it going? The answer is simple, you keep moving, learning, and testing. Don’t stop for anything except to reflect on your life and get better, faster, and stronger.

My next adventure will be starting in the next few weeks… I’ll be moving from California to Wisconsin to join the Filene team as an Impact Director. What will your next adventure be?

Crashing + MBA = Opportunities

Follow A Crasher

Follow A Crasher, Week 1 Video: Today is a Great Day to Work for Credit Unions

Follow A Crasher Week 1 Video: Mario Mejia from Filene Research on Vimeo.

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