My Passion is Here - Barbara Mojica
Barbara Mojica has accomplished a lot in the industry, but she is just getting started. Her drive is contagious, and we were very lucky to snag some of her time to discuss her journey, leadership, and her very busy life.
Tell me about your role of account manager and what got you into the movement.
As an account manager at VisiFI, I manage 15 of our clients’ accounts. In my role, I get to identify pain points and provide technology solutions to our credit union partners that will help them grow. I also keep track of their cases and make sure their issues are getting resolved quickly. VisiFI is a CUSO, and to me that was very important before accepting this new role, I wanted to make sure that I was with a company whose vision and values aligned with that of the credit union movement. I can attest that they do their best for each of our clients, they work hard to find innovative solutions that will allow credit unions to thrive no matter their size.
Prior to working in the credit union industry- I worked for the “other side” but I quickly discovered that my personal values were being compromised so I started looking for other jobs. While job searching, I learned about credit unions and what their mission was, with the experience that I had, I was quickly applying to all credit unions in North Carolina. Finally, after five months- I landed an amazing job at Coastal Credit Union. Prior to that my only other exposure to a credit union was through my own banking with SECU.
The other side, I love it. What keeps you in the CU industry?
The people. Anyone I have ever met that is involved in the credit union movement is always passionate and HAPPY. Those two things always spoke to me more than money. I have gotten recruited for major companies to do business development, but I know that my passion is here, in this industry. I love that I can say I do honest work and that my personal values aren’t compromised by sales goals.
So much passion for the people, this is outstanding. Tell me about your GAC experience. What do CRASHEERS in 2022 need to know before they attend?
GAC is really where everything changed for me. Here is where my passion for the movement flourished. I met so many amazing individuals like Maria Martinez (CEO of Border Federal CU) that helped me understand what this is all about. I also made lifelong friends that are close to my age and are also passionate about the movement. It excites me that we are growing this movement together for generations to come. The number one thing to know before attending GAC is to be open and engaged. You cannot walk into GAC with a closed mind, otherwise you will get very little out of it. Also, just a tip, sleep is nonexistent when you are there, so be ready! 😉
Maria is outstanding, you were very blessed to have Chuck as a CEO as well, how has he impacted your career and professional development?
Chuck is an outstanding leader like you said, he also really had a big impact on my passion and love for the industry. The reason I ended up going to GAC is because it came as a reward for winning the internal and Tarheel Protégé competition in 2018. After winning, Chuck requested to have lunch with me- mind you this is a very intimidating thing since he was my CEO- but I love that he reaches out to the winner each year. My presentation in this competition was about lending to DACA and Visa holder’s recipients. I am a DACA recipient, so this was personal. Especially because I was always taken advantage by the banks because of my status. Knowing the credit union values, I found it hard to believe that most weren’t tapping into this market.
Anyways, Chuck and I had a discussion about this during lunch. The way he listened to me and made me feel like all the research I’ve done was valid and enough to be brought up in his executive meetings was so reassuring. After that, Chuck and I stayed in touch, he never forgot my name and I could reach out to him without feeling intimidated anymore. During GAC, he took all his staff to a nice dinner, and there he spoke about DACA and even asked one of the senators how he planned to vote on DACA issues (at that time President Trump was trying to eliminate it). That left a huge impact in my heart and is something that I will always cherish as one of the best memories at GAC. I guess I wanted to tell you this long story to highlight that he is not just a CEO, he really is a leader, one that cares and puts energy into getting to know you as a person. Coastal Credit Union is very lucky to have him. 😊
True leadership at its finest. I see you have attended the leadership conference, tell me more.
Leadership conference was an invitation form Hannah McGee (A GAC crasher as well) and it was an amazing opportunity for my development. She got a bunch of YP’s to be on a panel and speak about several different issues. Mine was focused on DACA/Visa lending and we got to spend time with some amazing people there. This opportunity was sponsored by Coastal Credit Union and Palmetto Citizens FCU as well. All these conferences that I have been part of have resulted from the networking that I did at GAC and the continuous engagement that I have maintained with the people I met there.
You are very driven, what are your goals for 2022?
I just started my new role about 7 months ago, so right now my main goal is to learn as much as I can and become an essential part of VisiFI. I am very motivated to continue moving forward in the credit union industry. My next goal is to go into the marketing aspect of technology, but first I want to focus all my energy in learning my current role. My overall goal is to help my current credit union clients grow. In this role I’ve discovered the struggles that some smaller credit unions face and that is what keeps me motivated to find the right technology solution for them. I do not want this industry to fade out or disappear and I know the only way for small credit unions to grow is through technology that can help them stay on that path.
Technology is so important, the pandemic did nothing but accelerate the need for more. Great mentality and approach to lifelong learning. A loaded question: Work life balance plus college tell me more about how you are making this work.
Currently, I am only taking one college course because I want to make sure it does not become a stressor that interferes with learning my current role. It is hard to manage both because I feel like I am a student all day- before when I was at Coastal, I knew everything- every product- who managed what- and right now I am having to learn my new organization and role. So, I had to reduce my classes so that I would not fall behind as an account manager.
Work life balance is important to me because I recently got married and I want to make sure that I make time for my family. With VisiFI, I have found that it is easy to have this; my manager, Katie Brackett, is an amazing leader and has always been supportive of personal things. There has never been a time where I can’t run to my doctor’s appointments or take time off to be with my family. I am currently going through adjustment of status (anyone that knows this process knows how lengthy and time consuming this is) and Katie has been supportive of all the time that I have needed to take care of this. All of this to say that even though I am busy, I am also part of a company that believes in work life balance and flexibility, so that makes it easy to manage and thrive at work and school.
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