I am a senior relationship manager in the Community Engagement & Partnerships department at Addition Financial, a credit union based in Lake Mary, FL. In my role at Addition Financial, I work with community partners to elevate our brand throughout Central Florida and manage relationships with media.
A typical day at work
In the Community Engagement department at Addition Financial, no two days are exactly alike. Some days in my role are more outward-facing, while others are more focused on internal initiatives. For example, I work closely alongside our partners at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where we were named the Official Financial Institution of the UCF Knights.
On a given day, I might meet with representatives from one of the UCF departments or colleges to discuss possible sponsorship and brand awareness opportunities for the credit union, which has branches on and near the campus. I may also teach an in-person or virtual financial education class on a topic like budgeting basics, establishing credit, or identity theft prevention.
In addition, we have partnerships with local school districts, non-profits, state colleges, and other educational institutions, so I sometimes fill in for team members and will teach financial education workshops for students anywhere from kindergarten through adulthood. My department also represents the credit union at community networking events, and there were times when I would attend as many as three of those events in a given day!
On other days, my work is more internally focused. Whether working from home or in the office, I start my day with a cup of tea and will spend a few minutes getting organized for the day ahead. On an especially busy day, I’ll time-block my work for added efficiency! Because I manage the organization’s public relations efforts, I often look for opportunities to position our credit union as a leading expert in personal finance and will pitch media outlets for various financial literacy-related articles.
I lead our communications efforts for most of our community initiatives, so on a given day I may write speeches for our team members to use at philanthropic events, press releases, video scripts, copy for some of our marketing collateral, thought leadership articles for various outlets, and more. When we have a particularly exciting initiative take place, I often serve as our media spokesperson, and have done interviews for television, radio, print, and podcasts.
In addition, I serve on cross-functional task forces within the credit union, where I have the opportunity to work with other departments on a variety of projects. Right now, a few of those projects include revamping our financial education content, creating instructional videos for our online banking offerings, and supporting DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives throughout the organization.
One of my newest responsibilities is to coordinate our ribbon cutting/grand opening events for our new branches. One of my team members and I are collaborating on five of these ribbon cutting events this year!
Working in Community Engagement introduces you to a lot of incredible people in your local area and can lead to lasting relationships. Credit unions specifically are not-for-profit, so having a job where I know my work makes a difference has been personally fulfilling for me as well. I love the variety of working in this type of role and representing an organization whose mission I truly believe in.
I have also had a lot of really cool experiences working in this field! From throwing first pitch at a local baseball game to volunteering my time at a telethon for one of our nonprofit partners, I have gotten to do a lot of things in this role that I never thought possible in finance. Working for a company that values its community and its employees can ultimately lead to a long-term career. I have been at Addition Financial for eight years and can truly say that I have never been bored!
No matter what industry you work in, having a job in Community Engagement will most likely mean that you’ll sometimes work weekends or evening hours. The events may seem glamorous, but there is a lot of time and hard work that goes into each of them, so this type of role is usually not a typical 9-5. Because of the ever-changing nature of this role, you need to be disciplined and self-directed in your work, because your hours may not look like the regular banking hours that your other colleagues at the bank or credit union will have. If you aren’t able to create that structure for yourself and manage your schedule accordingly, a job in Community Engagement can become overwhelming very quickly.