I have been a credit union member since I opened my first account in 2005 at the age of 13. I had little choice in the matter: My father served on the board of directors of a local credit union. Still, I am grateful, and that account remains open to this day.
I went to college to become a teacher. After experiencing no luck in securing a teaching position, I went to work for a small nonprofit. When it became clear there were no immediate opportunities for upward movement within that organization, I started searching for a new job.
I told my father I wanted to work with an organization that was local-focused and would provide me with room to grow. He suggested I consider credit unions as a career option.
I started applying to credit unions around Columbus, Ohio. Hoping to get my foot in the door, I applied to be a member service representative (MSR) at BMI Federal Credit Union in Dublin, Ohio.
Not long after, I received a call from a human resources representative who said she reviewed my resume and while she was happy to interview me for the MSR position, there was a position in business development that was a perfect fit for my background.
Three weeks later I started at BMI Federal Credit Union and have not looked back. Instead, my career has been nothing but an exciting upward trajectory since joining the credit union movement.
BMI Federal has provided multiple opportunities for me to grow, including supporting my attendance at events such as the CUNA Young Professionals Conference and the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. The credit union has supported me in obtaining my Certified Healthcare Safety Professional (CHSP) certification and provided financial assistance with my MBA education.
BMI Federal invests in employees and makes them feel like part of a greater whole rather than just a number. At the same time, it provides a wonderful work-life balance.
My advice for young professionals who are seeking to establish a path for themselves is simple and direct: Ask for what you need.
I’ve learned this from my colleagues and experience at BMI Federal. The premise is simple: You need to be your best advocate.
Your supervisor or organization won’t know what you need to improve your performance or advance your career if you don’t ask. If you’re lucky enough to work in the credit union movement, the answers to your questions will open a world of opportunities.
STEPHEN GALE is business development coordinator for BMI Federal Credit Union in Dublin, Ohio.