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SCMS Grad Says He Couldn't Have Done it without Support from Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:55 AM

Christian Mulvey of Texas Partners FCU was among the 31 credit union executives to graduate from Southwest CUNA Management School last week, and according to Mulvey, he would not have been able to walk across the stage had it not been for the financial support of the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation.

“I feel extremely fortunate and blessed that the Foundation assisted me and my credit union with a portion of my tuition,” Mulvey tells the Leaguer. “The Foundation didn’t just provide me with a grant for one year, but all three years. I believe their assistance over the course of the three years equated to almost half of my total tuition cost.”

While there are a number of certification programs out there, Mulvey doesn’t believe any others quite compare to SCMS. The three-year course, he explains, provides students instruction in such topics as effective business writing for the professional, as well as understanding of Asset Liability Management. He says SMCS is an all-encompassing program, and perhaps one of the most widely recognized certification programs for credit union professionals. And it’s an experience he might not have had without the Foundation’s support.

“I find it a humbling experience that they would invest the dollars that they have in my education. A guy that they have no guarantee will remain in the industry for any length of time,” he adds. “They put their trust in me, that I will learn and in some way or another ‘make a difference.’ I am truly appreciative and honored by their trust in me.”

The SCMS experience, Mulvey says, was exciting, trying, difficult and taxing all rolled into one.

“I had never attended a ‘higher education’ opportunity on a college campus before, so the dorm life was a new experience for me as well,” he states.

There are so many benefits to attending SCMS, but if he could only pick three, Mulvey would choose:

  1. Being taught by some of the top names/experts in the industry.
  2. The networking and camaraderie of your class spanning ages from early 20s to mid-50s.
  3. Being shown that you'll have to work harder at failing than to pass. “Not to say that you don't have to work hard to pass, but the staff mentored and worked with me throughout the program, and that meant a lot to me. It showed me that they will take the effort to work with you if you put forth the effort.”

Mulvey says he learned so many important lessons at SCMS, but perhaps one of the greatest lessons he learned is the importance of working together as a movement to ensure the success of all credit unions.

“While there might be friendly competition between credit unions, as financial cooperatives, we don’t want to see any credit union fail. We want to see them succeed,” he adds.

Today, Mulvey is an IT director with Texas Partners FCU, but his goal is to someday be a chief operations officer at a credit union, and he believes having completed SCMS is going to help him get there.

“SCMS has provided me knowledge to better understand the many facets of a credit union and I can now easily further my knowledge (as well as share) through the many contacts I have made with classmates, SCMS instructors, and Cornerstone Credit Union League staff,” he notes. “My contact list is now overflowing with those who ‘have been there and done that;’ and thereby negating the need for me to recreate the wheel in some instances.”

Mulvey says he is thankful for the SCMS experience, and deeply appreciative of the Foundation for helping make it possible.

To learn more about the Foundation, including available grants, please visit www.cscuf.coop.