Meet Jordan Anderson - CUNA CRASHer
Jordan has been a Member Service Consultant at Collins Community Credit Union for 2 years. He sat down with our Marcus Murphy to talk about how he got involved in CRASHing and gave us his thoughts on it!
Tell me how you first got involved in with Crashing CUNA?
I got involved with Crashing by learning of the program from a former crasher that I worked with. She told me how great the opportunity was and how she grew so much as a person by going. From there, I researched CUNA, the councils, membership and everything that being a crasher entailed. Finally, I consulted with someone in my marketing department. They provided me with the application and provided valuable insight and feedback into my application. Once all that was said and done, I got the good news and was selected for being a crasher at the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Conference 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
What was your first impression?
My first impression was humbling and gratifying. Humbling in the fact that I was being selected to represent my credit union AND being paid to do so. Gratifying in that I was being recognized for my hard working efforts over these past 2 years. Finally, I was grateful. Grateful that I was being given this once in a lifetime opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. When I first landed in Vegas. I couldn’t believe I was actually there. I was filled with joy at seeing new sights all around. Aside from all the gambling that Vegas is known for, its actually a beautiful place that has rich history, culture and technology. The entire time I felt my first impression was being wowed. One on an event planning level, CUNA made it look easy, but I know how hard it is to set up something as massive as the conference was. All the staff surrounding the conference worked brilliantly at making sure everything ran without a hitch. It’s a bit of information overload at first, but in the best sense possible. Think of it as getting a shot of adrenaline straight into your passion and strengths as a person.
What has surprised you most Crashing?
I was surprised most about what I discovered in myself. Through the crashing process and being so close with both my fellow crashers and other credit union professionals, I was able to uncover skills and ideas I had but didn’t realize were worth looking into more. If that makes sense? I was able to figure out which direction I want my career to move in and solid steps to make it happen. I also discovered some ways to future develop passions that I already had. Lastly, I was surprised by how well the crashing team vibed with each other. We all got along incredibly well and bonded over the short time we had together. I felt I made some lifelong friends and professional connections. It will be exciting to see where everyone goes in their professional development
What is some networking advice?
Well.. the obvious one is NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Few opportunities as big as this conference come along every day. Let alone to relative new people in the industry. Take full advantage of your time out there. Talk to as many new people as you can without fear. The conference provides a very welcoming and warm environment. You never feel its strange to approach a stranger and just start asking them questions. Its liberating professionally to be around so many like-minded people that share similar passions. So don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and try new things with people. Whether its conversation styles or new food in the conference. DO IT ALL. Odds are you won’t be in 20 conferences in a year. These are great events for developing and growing professionally. Make the most of your time.
Who was the most influential person you met there and why?
The most influential person in my opinion was Lee Silber. Lee was a very sharp and on point public speaker. No rambling. Nothing was drawn out. Everything said had something of value and importance. I particularly liked how honest he was about himself. How he came from an introverted background and never in his wildest dreams thought he would be doing public speaking engagements. His speech was all about turning small talk into real results. This is something I gravitated to on a personal level. I have been around people all my life who have been “just talk”, as I’m sure many people have. So hearing some of his insights on how to better relate to people and get past the small talk and into something real was amazing. He was also kind enough to speak with me afterwards about his journey to get to where he was today as well as what I could do to get to where I need to be. Lastly he was very funny!!! Not in any artificial way, but genuine.
What do you wish other people knew about your experience?
So much! I could practically write a book on everything I took away from there. For now, I will say this. The experience is well worth it for any young professional with the right attitude and work ethic that is looking to move forward to something new and challenging in their career. The experience of networking with so many leaders of the industry is second to none. I would want others to know that if you are selected, take lots of notes, talk to as many people as you can and most importantly, LEARN as much as you can. Knowledge is power. Wield it correctly, there is no stopping you. Lastly, if chosen to go, be grateful, genuine, humble and hungry for more. It is a privilege to be there and to represent your company. Act like it and make the most of your time.
Now I would like to keep working even harder on bettering my credit union and myself professionally. I now have a more realistic idea of what I want to achieve and how to do it. I hope to advance out of the position I am in now and into one that better fulfills me and utilizes my skills. I plan on studying more business development resources outside of work when I can and really spend time developing the best version of myself. I want to be a crasher again and encourage others around me to be involved as well. The credit union movement and people helping people were terms I kept hearing before that I thought were just terms. Now I know they are not and that it is something real. I want to keep my drive up and passions high as I move forward as a professional and help people help others.
Why should others be involved?
Others should be involved because it gives you a unique perspective. Amongst many things. There is so much to take away from listening to hundreds of industry professionals talk about their daily struggles as well as their hopes and aspirations. It’s a place full of ideas and optimism. For the right person, someone can come back from a convention like this rejuvenated, re charged and with the freshest and best ideas from the industry and implement them into their own credit union. On a personal note, I think traveling is healthy and should be encouraged. Much can be learned by getting outside of your bubble and into the world. People, sights, smells, food etc., it’s all worth it. Plus you can make lifelong friends from trips like these and open doors you never would have expected before. It is well worth the time and investment.