Looking for innovative, young talent? Credit unions have a big opportunity this summer with thousands of college students on break from school. Many of those ambitious students are looking for work experience, and credit unions have a lot to gain by actively recruiting them as interns for the summer.
The experience is a boon to the interns. They get real world work experience and it looks great on their résumé. They also learn more about finances in a critical time in their life.
In turn, credit unions benefit from short-term, cost-effective staffing. Interns also provide a fresh way of looking at things at your credit union. Their new ideas and enthusiasm should be embraced by your credit union.
Also, your interns will get exposed to credit unions and experience the credit union difference firsthand. That’s good for your credit union and the movement in the long run.
Let’s not forget that many credit union leaders got their start as interns. For example, Filene Research Institute CEO Mark Meyer started in the credit union movement as a summer intern. So you never know–that intern who is with you for eight weeks in the summer could be leading your credit union some day.
It doesn’t have to be college students necessarily either. Chances are many high schools in your area would be eager partners. When I was president/CEO of GTE FCU in Tampa, Fla., we worked with a local school to have high school seniors work for us for two months in the summer. It was a valuable experience for both intern and credit union.
Interns don’t have to do menial tasks either. That would be a waste of their talent most likely as they are capable of much more. As a matter of fact, First Miami University Student FCU in Oxford, Ohio, has over $1.2 million in assets and is entirely run by volunteer interns. That’s hands-on business experience for students from the teller line to the executive team. My point is that there is room for interns in every department of your organization.
Many credit unions have leveraged interns to help with young adult outreach. Last year, Connex CU in North Haven, Conn., hired an intern as its vice president of "Unbanking" to be a Connex CU ambassador to the student population.
Wright Patt Credit Union in Fairborn, Ohio did a similar exercise a few years ago. It brought in a college intern specifically to help put together the credit union’s young adult strategy. With credit union membership aging, attracting and retaining younger members is vital to the future of credit unions.
So what are you waiting for? I invite you to talk to your local colleges and high schools about placing interns this summer at your credit union.
National Credit Union Foundation