Kelly

Photo: Kelly

Director
Office of Continuity and Security Management

Why did you decide to work for the NCUA?

Prior to the interview for my NCUA position, I had already done my research as to what the NCUA had to offer on paper. These benefits include higher premium subsidies for vision, dental, and health insurance, a savings plan that has the agency matching contributions beyond the typical Thrift Savings Plan, and garage parking. But I still needed to know more about the intangibles. In that hour onsite, I could see the camaraderie and respect everyone had for each other. Everyone I encountered — from the executives to the security officers and human resources specialists — were professional and upbeat. The interaction I witnessed appeared genuine and assured me I wanted to be a part of this environment.

I left the interview without a doubt in my mind — I wanted that job.

How would you describe the NCUA culture?

I joined the NCUA in early 2018, so I may just be in the honeymoon phase, but I find the work environment to be healthy and engaging. Every manager is different, but overall, I believe there is a certain level of autonomy and independence granted to employees that allows staff to manage their programs and projects in their own vision, which fosters both personal and professional growth.

From a cultural perspective, the diversity and inclusion program is more active and engaged than any I have seen. Every month there is some type of event featuring a guest speaker or a talk that invites NCUA employees to engage in conversation in small groups to discuss controversial issues and diverse identities. As a member of the LGBTQ community and the executive sponsor of the PRIDE (People Recognizing Individual Differences Equally) Employee Resource Group, I’ve witnessed a workforce open and eager to learning, supporting, and engaging in the NCUA’s diversity program.

What advice do you have for new employees?

I would advise a new employee to connect with their colleagues and build relationships both within and outside their immediate work unit. Because this is a small agency, employees are often responsible for multiple programs and have many collateral duties. The greater the number of strong working relationships one can build, the easier it will be to navigate and learn the NCUA’s processes and protocols.

What is work-life balance like at the NCUA?

In one word: balanced.  This is my fourth federal agency and none of the previous agencies offered the variety of flexible work schedules the NCUA offers. Additionally, NCUA’s leadership is mission focused, but also recognizes that a good balance results in a more productive staff. I recall the first time I took annual leave to vacation overseas; I requested an international cellphone to keep up on my email. I was told multiple times that it wasn’t necessary and to enjoy my time off.  While I appreciated the gesture, I pushed, knowing I just couldn’t do that. So, while I personally may struggle to separate from work, enjoying your time away from NCUA is supported and even strongly encouraged.

To whom would you recommend working at the NCUA?

The NCUA has a small-town, neighborhood feel, so I could see it being a difficult adjustment for someone coming from an incredibly large agency or private company. But, if you have a good work ethic and you’re a good team player, the NCUA is the place for you.