The following blog details my experience as a first year student at Western CUNA Management School.

When I was 15 years old a movie called New Jersey Drive came to the theaters by my house. You have probably never heard of this movie but everyone at school was talking about. Of course since everyone at school was talking about it I had to see it. So me and a couple of friends went to the theater and tried to buy tickets. I say tried because the movie was rated R and we were not 17. Needless to say our attempt was quickly shut down. We were not willing to give up though. So we did what so many kids, perhaps even you, had done before us…we bought tickets to a PG movie. Did we have any attention of seeing this move? Of course not, but it was our ticket into the theater. As we walked along the concourse we quickly made a right instead of the left like the usher had instructed us. We were in…or so we thought. Apparently we weren’t the only kids with such a brilliant idea. The theater had an usher at the door checking tickets and we were forced to go see the PG movie. However I now wanted to see this movie more then ever.

Well I later saw the movie and you know what, I didn’t like it. It wasn’t because it was a bad movie, actually it was somewhat entertaining. The thing is I had built up the expectation to such a high level that it was destined to disappoint. Maybe you have had this experience. Someone hyped up a movie, song, event, or play so much that anything less then this glorified image that you have created is a let down. I know throughout the course of my life this scenario has occurred quite often.

Fast forwarded to 2003. My boss, Tina Hall, had just returned from her first year at something called Western CUNA Management School and she was excited. I was able to see first hand how vaulable the school and the projects she had to complete were.

Before I continue I think I should explain what Western CUNA Management School is. The school consists of students representing credit unions from the thirteen Western States. It is a three year program where students spend two weeks at Pomona college in California during July (when it is hot!). Over these two weeks students attend classes on various subjects ranging from economics to business law. All the classes are related to how individuals can contribute directly to the growth of their credit union and the credit union movement. Between the first and second year students are required to complete a project where they analysis the different aspect of their credit union. Between the second and third year students complete a project in which you are asked to make strategic suggestions on what your credit union should do in the future. This is just a very basic description and I will elaborate more later, for now lets get back to the story.

Anyway after listening and observing Tina I started to become interested in attending this school. You see I realized that she wasn’t excited about what she was learning, she was passionate about it. And passion has a powerful effect on those around it…

Check back at a later date to continue to read about my experiences as a first year student at Western CUNA Management School.

Justin Martin

Justin started his long career at Verity as a summer intern. After leaving to pursue a degree in human resource management at Western Washington University, he returned to what he describes as “one of the strongest environments I have seen in terms of focus on their employees.” During his time here, Verity has been recognized with multiple awards ranging from employee development initiatives to overall work environment. Justin holds an MBA from Seattle University along with being an honors graduate from Western CUNA Management School and a certified Credit Union Development Educator.

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