Picture this – 17 years old, deciding on how to spend the rest of my life as an adult. I am packing for college and trying to decide where in the world was my “fit.” Never did I imagine it would be at a bank, Credit Union, or in a financial industry whatsoever. I was so focused on cash flow and determined to be filthy rich by 25 with a great career ahead of me. I was also going into nursing without the ability to stomach the sight of blood (Oh, the things I thought money would help me overcome).

Now, let’s flash forward, I am 22, and working at a job that I never imagined I would, with people that I absolutely adore. No, I’m not filthy rich… but I am paid well. No, I am not a nurse, but I am always helping people. To say the least, I am happy, stable, and confident in my future with Solarity Credit Union. I graduated college with a Business degree, and I started as an Engagement Center Guide, which by the way felt like a dream. I have been through so much training in all the departments of the company, and I have been able to network with nearly every single employee in the company. I   have been given the opportunity to gain knowledge from some of the most experienced and intelligent people in the industry. This has really enhanced my self-esteem and confidence in the way I work with members every single day! The best part – any member of our staff is just a phone call away.

This is not where my journey ends with Solarity Credit Union; From the day I started, I aspired to be part of our Human Resources team at some point in the long run of my career. Luckily, I was constantly given opportunities to discuss my goals and aspirations with all members of the Human Resources team, as well as managers throughout the company. They have never told me “No” when I’m asking for help, so I am soaking up all that I can from as many people as possible. They are constantly giving me opportunities to grow my experience and put myself in front of the staff to gain confidence when working with large groups.

Within a year, I moved into the role that was a 3-year goal – and I am now the HR Business partner of Solarity Credit Union, and now I am helping people find their perfect career fit!  Having the ability to learn from so many different people, and grow from failure, is such an eye-opening experience. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why we are talking so much about me and how I saw myself five years ago and where I am now as a young professional…

Culture. This is by far the most important word that represents Solarity Credit Union. Yes, our Core Values are crucial to the way we perform and assist our members’ with their financial goals, but it is all about our intentions, and the way we present solutions to our members. Most of all, it’s all about the teamwork that is constantly in play that creates a culture that is unheard of in the financial industry. If you ever wonder what drives an employee/co-worker more than anything, it’s feeling like you fit in the puzzle. It’s the feeling of having a boss that has your back and is here to help you grow in no matter what way you are looking to grow. Knowing your fit is the best feeling in the entire world, especially when it’s your professional fit.

This being said, when I was 17 I had aspirations that were based on money, success, and getting my name out there. Now, I can’t imagine working for a company that doesn’t have a world-class culture. I can’t imagine giving up the opportunity to help the community and learn from my superiors every single day. I have never felt so supported, so challenged, and so determined. Culture changes everything. If it wasn’t for Solarity, who knows where I’d be right now? I am so empowered to do amazing things to make myself and the company proud. This is why Culture matters. This is why I will never look for a paycheck, but for a cultural fit. There’s no better feeling than being with your second family every single day.