Brittany Stanchfield, Marine Credit Union (MCU) Member Service Representative spent most of her childhood in the area north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. She graduated high school in Oconto and later went to college at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. “I decided early on I wanted to go to school for psychology and I minored in Spanish,” Brittany shared. After graduating, she moved back to northern Wisconsin, eventually finding herself in a leadership position at a major pharmacy. She said she “grew with the company.” But eventually, took a few months off work to take care of her mental health.
“The major pharmacy… it was not for me,” she shared. “I had a lot of anxiety. It was toxic for my mental health,” Brittany shared and added that she had suffered with generalized anxiety disorder and depression. She said her husband encouraged her to take the time off to “figure out herself. He talked me into it,” she said. “I’m glad I did.”
During that time off, Brittany said she made the decision to leave that company. “I got to enjoy life again,” she said of that time … feeling better to not be worried about work all the time.
After spending time working on herself (and planning her wedding), Brittany said she felt it was time go back to work again. She started searching for a receptionist job but found her home at MCU in February of 2021.
“Ready or not, I jumped in at MCU,” Brittany shared. “Now I am in a good spot.”
“I never worked at a financial institution,” she continued. “But … once I got to know the members, it has been cool. It is a blessing to do.”
Brittany said she had just come through a time having to figure out what she needed and now she was able to help members on similar journeys. “I think the thing is being able to empathize with oneself and learn to be okay with things not being perfect right now,” she shared. “I used to feel stuck,” she added. After having experienced taking the time to focus on herself, she said she is now better able to empathize with the members she serves every day.
“People see their negative balances. They are not where they want to be right now, but I will work with you to help you get in a better situation. I will try to help you find yourself,” she explained of how she is able to help MCU members.
Yet, Brittany still struggles at times with feeling guilty about taking the time off to heal and find herself. “We are not in a good financial spot,” she shared. “I feel like I put us (her and her husband) in this position. I needed the time off, but I still feel guilty.” But … she said she knew she had to do it for herself.
Brittany said even though she is in a difficult financial situation herself, she can coach others and they are learning together. “I met with a financial counselor myself,” she shared. “It helped me to get a better understanding of my financial situation and how we can get back on top.”
She said she is happy helping others get on top of their financial situations too. “We are a financial family,” she shared. “People come into the branch, and we know their names.”
Even though she thought she had financial matters figured out being able to pay bills in her past and have a savings and spending money, working at a financial institution, she is learning diverse ways to help herself and members. “Now, being at MCU, it was backwards … how I used to plan. It is a learning process,” she added.
When Brittany was still in college, she shared she could not cover her tuition. She went to MCU for a loan, and they helped her. “They helped me and gave me hope,” she shared.
“I have learned a lot and help members learn. It can be a life-long battle – even for people with more money.” But, she said, “I know what it feels like to want out of the situation. It was not intentional, but I put myself there. Now … I can learn with my members.”
Brittany’s dad, she said, banked at MCU and opened a checking account for Brittany there when she was only 15 years old and had her first job at McDonalds. If it were not for that, she said that she might not have gone to MCU for help during college and might not have applied there for her job. Those experiences, she said, “gave me confidence in MCU, and I have never felt more confident in a job.”
“Members are our top priority,” she shared. “But I do not go home and think about it. Our expectations are clear. If we do not get it done today,” most things, she said, “can get done tomorrow.” Brittany said she wants to grow with MCU. “I do not feel like a nuisance here. I have direct people I can reach out to. I am glad to have the team we have here. There is never a bad question,” she commented. “The leaders here help you with what you are trying to do.”
“We serve the underserved,” she added. But instead of asking what her customers can do for her like in her past jobs, she now is able to ask members, “How can we better serve you?’