Emily Alexander - Advance Credit Union

Emily Alexander - Advance Credit Union

Hi, I’m Emily Alexander. I look after strategic development at Advance Credit Union, and have taken on additional responsibilities for our marketing and communications too!  I have been with Advance Credit Union for just over 2 years, starting with very little knowledge of credit unions. The 2 years have been a whirlwind and have been lucky enough to have so many great experiences within the sector.

I graduated from CU Futures in March 2021 after completing the course online. Working remotely on this was a challenge but it was great to be able to connect with people all over the UK to learn from each other. As I was only 6 months into my role when I started the CU Futures programme, the different activities meant I was able to meet people within the sector and now I have a really strong support network!

Why did you first get involved in credit unions?

I was fresh out of University when Advance CU was looking for a Development Partner. I was aware of credit unions due to my degree in Business and covering not-for-profit organisations and I was then curious to understand more about how they worked day-to-day. I found myself questioning why more people were not members of credit unions when their aims are beneficial to all, savers or borrowers!

Why did you choose to be part of the YPN steering committee?

The committee is full of passionate individuals with the same goal to widen the opportunities to younger people within the sector. So I was so pleased to be asked to join after graduating from CU Futures. I had the drive to aid development within the sector and the committee is full of passionate individuals with the same goal to widen the opportunities to younger people within the sector.

Young people have so much to offer and coming into the industry which is historically known for the older generation, it can be quite challenging to develop yourself. So by joining the committee, I hope we can encourage young people to excel in their credit union roles even more!

Why is the YPN important to you?

Being completely new to the sector when I started my role at ACU, it was important to me to build relationships and gather my own network. Now the YPN is the first place I turn to if I need help or guidance. There aren’t many other sectors which allocate this level of  time and resources to its young people, so it was important to me to reap the benefits! The YPN tries to cover all bases with their sessions so hopefully there is sometime for everyone.

Although all of our meetings have been online while I have been on the committee and even just a part of the YPN, I know the relationships I’ve built and what I have learnt from the YPN sessions are so beneficial to me personally and professionally.

What have you gained from being a member of the YPN steering committee?

Personally, I think I have gained a sense of belonging really, as cliche as that sounds! A lot of my career at ACU has been home work so being part of the YPN steering committee has given me another opportunity to be a part of the team and do something good!

What advice would you give to people considering wanting to get involved in the YPN?
Definitely do it! You’ll be able to develop yourself on professional and personal levels and attend sessions you genuinely have an interest in. You’ll get to meet some great people and build your own network to lean on, and you’ll have fun while doing so.