Savanna Givens - Patience and Persistence
Updated: Sep 12
Savanna Givens has been a part of the credit union industry for just over 3 years and has worked her way up the credit union ladder. What got her there? Patience and persistence. We met Savanna through the Minnesota Credit Union Network YP Group The Crew and we were impressed with her eagerness and want to network. Savanna has CRASHED three conferences, is involved with her area Chamber of Commerce, and her credit unions YP group. We were able to chat with her about her journey in the credit union industry.
Tell me about your recent promotion? What’s exciting, what’s scary?
Taking on a new challenge is always nerve wracking, but in a good way. You’re moving into the unknown, going from a senior back to being a freshman in the blink of an eye. To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure I would be qualified for this position. I used to believe that when applying for a job, you needed to meet every qualification mentioned in the job description. (Interesting fact: The experts say that belief is more common with women than men.) Luckily, I learned one of the best parts of a new role is the new skills you develop. Taking on a new role doesn’t always have to be about finding something you are already an expert on. It’s about growing your career, and challenging yourself as a young professional.
Talk about the process to this promotion, what do you feel YP struggle with when it comes to internal promotion?
The biggest struggle for me personally, and I presume many other YPs, is balancing patience with the desire to move up. You should never take on a new role just to leave your previous position; don’t apply for a job unless it is right for you. As someone who is a self-proclaimed over-achiever, I can say from experience good things do come to those who wait. This wasn’t the first time I applied for this position. The message here is don’t give up, don’t let yourself slip into a world of low motivation because you were turned down. Let that experience motivate you and spark the fire inside you.
Tell me about HYPE. What is it and what has been the biggest benefit for being part of it?HYPE, or the Hiway Young Professionals, is the brain child of my friend and co-worker Sharon Bechstein. It’s composed of a phenomenal group of young people from all different departments at Hiway. As a committee, we work to inspire and motivate the young professionals at Hiway. We promote networking events and education opportunities, as well as providing resources and guidance on how to navigate the business sector as a YP. Since the group was established, multiple participants have been selected for crash opportunities and several have been honored with awards. I feel lucky to work for a company like Hiway, they are so passionate about wanting their YPs to thrive.
You've CRASHED a few conferences, tell us about your experiences.
Throughout my last three years at Hiway, I have crashed the MNCUN Fall Leadership Conference, Filene’s DE&I Conference, and the CU Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington DC. I learned new skills, and benefited greatly from the many different perspectives presented. And yes, I’m the kind of person that went back to my CU with so many things to share that I had to create a power point after each event. (Sometimes there is such a thing as too many ideas at once.) I also need to mention these were amazing opportunities to network with professionals in the credit union industry. I made lasting connections with people all throughout the USA, which I now use as a resource and support system.
You are also involved in the St. Paul Chamber, how did you get involved in this and how can other young people get involved?
Hiway’s young professional group was the reason I learned about the SPACC YPro events. Back when I first started, I couldn’t get enough networking in my life. At one point, I was probably attending around three events each week. I enjoy meeting new people and going new places, and considered the networking events a great substitute for the local bar scene. It was during these events that I met the existing committee members. Immediately I wanted to get involved, and I am now serving my second year term on the committee, currently as the head of the events and planning subcommittee.
Tell us about what the MNCUN CREW does for YP's. What can other state leagues do to help YP succeed?
While I am not currently a member of the MNCUN CREW, I take every opportunity I can to attend their events. The speakers they host, training they provide, and networking they coordinate, are essential events if you’re looking to grow in the local CU community. The MNCUN staff work hard to represent our state and credit unions as a whole. One of my favorite moments with them was hiking the hill in Washington DC during the GAC. I was given the spotlight for a brief but powerful moment, to share my story of the credit union difference with our state representatives. CU leagues should support their YP’s in this way, using their influence to give us a voice, even if just for a moment.
What else would you suggest to up and coming YP's?
The last words I would like to leave with you are a few tips I have picked up along the way; find a mentor, always follow up with people, dress for success, ask good questions, don’t be afraid of being afraid, be persistent, have goals and be flexible on how to accomplish them, and always lean forward.
CUltivate is people helping people with our mission to spread the word, connect the people, and give an outlet to share your stories. Know someone in the industry we should interview? Drop us a line at CultivateYP@gmail.com