In February, Callahan & Associates welcomed 12 employees of Credit Union Student Choice to a private two-day Peer-to-Peer Bootcamp in St. Petersburg, FL. Callahan’s Peer-to-Peer Bootcamps are designed for users who are interested in learning how Peer-to-Peer’s performance benchmarking tools can help them do their jobs more efficiently.
Suzanne Wilkins, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Credit Union Student Choice
Here, one of the Student Choice representatives who attended the event, Suzanne Wilkins, director of strategic partnerships, discusses her purpose for attending Callahan’s Bootcamp, her biggest takeaways, and how the information has helped her do her job better.
What were you hoping to accomplish by attending the Peer-to-Peer Bootcamp?
Suzanne Wilkins: For me, I didn’t really know what the tool could do. The role this served was to provide a general overview of Peer-to-Peer, a step-by-step breakdown of what’s offered to help me find new prospects or serve existing clients.
Since attending, how do you feel the bootcamp has helped you do your job better?
SW: The biggest value it provides me is the ability to compare existing clients. Many credit unions use peer comparisons to gauge whether or not they’re successful in their markets. For me, to be able to come into a conversation, know what their peers are doing, I can engage in more meaningful conversations and bring more value to my day-to-day.
In the months you’ve been using it, any anecdotes that show how much time it’s saved you or any conversations you’ve had that have been different or better?
SW: We had this mini project that I had to prepare for my supervisor, and I started pulling the requested information manually. I reached out to Sami Stanley, client relations manager, who told me I needed to use Peer-to-Peer to pull the information. She helped me cut down my time from at least three hours to at most 20 minutes. It was amazing.
Can you talk about the instruction you received? How was it different than what you’ve seen at other training sessions? Did you find it valuable?
SW: I think the difference between other training sessions and this one is the practical exercises the Callahan analyst team brought to us. It was practical hands-on training and the energy level in the room, and from our instructors, was really helpful to feed off. The exercises weren’t easy, but it was useful to hear the other students in the class, my peers, talk about how they would use the tool to solve problems.
What was your biggest takeaway from the bootcamp?
SW: There’s so much information available in Peer-to-Peer. And I would say that, as far as analytical tools I’ve seen, this is probably the Cadillac of versions. There are so many fields you can use, so many more than we thought when we started. By the second day it becomes clear how powerful this tool can be in my day-to-day work, all the possibilities I could use it for. It was mind-blowing.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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