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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -Online job boards, newspaper classifieds and now consumers can add credit unions to their list of resources when looking for a job. Both Chula Vista, California-based North Island Credit Union and Orlando, Florida-based Central Florida Postal Credit Union say it is not that far fetched and they have developed ways to help “deliver dreams” to those in their communities. For CFPCU President/CEO William K. Kennedy a recent partnership with the University of Central Florida is the key to helping not only graduate students but also the credit union movement. The $30 million credit union has tapped into the University of Central Florida’s Business Administration Masters program to provide internship opportunities for business students interested in pursuing careers within the financial services field. “We keep reading that there will be CEO retirements or senior management retirements in the next 3-5 years and a lot of credit unions aren’t harvesting this pool of applicants and potential replacements,” said Kennedy. “And how many credit unions decide to merge because there is no effective young leadership in place that can help them be more competitive? If we can get MBAs into the credit union fold then in the next 3-5 years they could segue into a senior management position.” Since last September, four of the 35 students in the MBA program have interned at the credit union in positions ranging from human resources development and financial research to marketing. Once an MBA intern himself and an adjunct professor, Kennedy is in a unique position to know what just the students, educators and credit union want from an internship. Kennedy says it is important to offer the same opportunity that was given him. “There aren’t too many industries where graduates can move to senior management in that short a time, so the credit union movement offers a lot of opportunity for young people,” said Kennedy. “The competitive advantage the interns provide credit unions is that most of them have never heard of credit unions so they are not locked into the credit union thinking and offer a breath of fresh air. They are always coming up with new ideas, questioning why we do things the way we do, and it gets the management team thinking outside of the box.” So far the 10-month internship has been so successful that Kennedy has already offered one intern the position of Marketing Director. Kennedy says the key has been opening management meetings and strategic planning sessions to the interns. “They have to able to see and experience it all,” said Kennedy. “So many of the people I interviewed had never thought of working at a credit union and this is a way to expose them to the credit union movement. Even if they don’t work at our credit union they may consider taking a position at another credit union -everyone wins.” The $1.2 billion North Island CU has adopted a more advisory role by teaming up with staffing firm Manpower of San Diego and the San Diego Workforce Partnership to produce a career guide entitled, Strategies for Success: Surviving and Succeeding in Today’s Job Market. The 40-page free booklet has tips on every aspect of the job search from how to develop a career plan and organize a job hunt to how to write a resume and prepare for an interview. “Our focus is on providing people the means to achieve their dreams,” said North Island CU President/CEO Michael Maslak. “We’ve helped our members prepare for milestones such as higher education, that first car or home. Right now if they are unemployed, achieving their dreams begins with finding a job and we want to help.” The booklet, created as a realistic reference tool, paints the job-hunting process as hard work and a full-time job in itself. According to Manpower President Phil Blair the guide provides not only a framework for a successful job search but also focuses on maintaining a healthy balance between one’s personal and professional life. Free copies of Strategies for Success: Surviving and Succeeding in Today’s Job Market are available at all Manpower and North Island CU locations. [email protected]

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