Currently, I am an employee of IBM Southeast Employees’ Credit Union (IBMSECU)—a credit union in Florida and Georgia. My position is Member Business Loan Specialist. I work with local businesses to assist them with any type of financial need and to find the best financial solutions for them, so that they may continue to grow in their success. My daily tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting members with their business accounts, guiding new or existing members through the process of business loans application, exploring new financial services IBMSECU offers for businesses, booking of business loans, the supervision of administrative tasks that need to be accomplished, as well as finding new and more efficient ways to simplify the daily tasks of the department.
Prior to my current job, I tried to get as much professional experience as I could during and after college. I tutored in Economics and was a writing coach at PBAU while, at the same time, taking part-time internships since my junior year in college. Some of the internships included: assisting in the marketing for the American Heart Association, being a secretary/assistant to a small marketing firm, having the opportunity to help a local city hall in Italy organize a summer event for exchange students, as well as being the Title Specialist for IBMSECU. After graduating from PBAU and working as a full-time intern for IBMSECU for six months, I was offered as a position as a loan specialist (in the Consumer Lending Department) for almost a year, before going into business lending.
Cherish the days in which you can throw on some yoga pants and bike to class. The working environment is something you will enjoy and in which you'll do your best, but don't forget to be grateful for attending classes and have a life that is (almost) worry free. Time management will play a crucial role not only at work, but in the whole aspect of life. Learn now to be able to focus under pressure, and to prioritize tasks. Freaking out about something that you (assume) can't be done is not going to help. Take a deep breath, ask multiple questions and give it your best shot! Never stop learning, and never underestimate your actions. Also, apologizing sincerely is great, but it is much better to never make that same mistake again—pay attention to details!
"Cherish the days in which you can throw on some yoga pants and bike to class."
PBAU truly helped my career in many wonderful ways. Through Career Development, I learned how to create an impeccable resume (I still get compliments today) as well as to expand my internship experience in several fields of the business world. The professors I had were the best counselors and life mentors a young professional could ask for. Do not take them for granted. The PBAU community taught me that, no matter how hard a task might seem, or how uncooperative a classmate may be on a project, as long as you worked hard and diligently, gave your best effort, and learned from previous mistakes, your would reap everything you sowed.
Believe in yourself. You have worked long and hard to get to this point, so please do not let the obstacles that come your way redefine the decisions you have made. Believe in yourself even when everything and everyone seem to tell you it is not right for you, that your career choice is not the best for you, that you do not seem qualified enough to be entitled to it. If you believe it is meant to be, try again; try until you know that it is not God’s plan for you. Fall, get hurt, then pick yourself up and keep going!
Yes, three people at the credit union ave taken me under their wings and have mentored me. I would be lost without them. It is a blessing to have someone with much more professional experience believe in you and cheer you on. They have lived through many different career scenarios and have carefully guided me through all kinds of daily tasks, as well as important decisions. Without their advice and encouragement, I would not be the professional I am today.
Spotlight posted in June 2018. For current updates from Nicala, visit her LinkedIn page.