This month, one of our employees Julie is celebrating her 40th work anniversary at WEA Trust. In this blog post, we ask Julie a few questions and to reflect on the last 40 years.
What made you apply for your first job at WEA Trust?
I applied to work at WEA Trust through an employment agency. I had agreed to only go on fee paid interviews and WEA wasn’t one of them, but the agency suggested I do the interview to practice interviewing.
I never expected to get the job, but I did. I called my Aunt, who was working in human resources at the time to ask her what I should do. Her advice? Take the job—you only have to stay a year to make it look good on your resume… but that was 40 years ago! I also had to ask my Mom and Dad for a loan as the employment agency took my first three paychecks as payment for their fee – I have, of course, repaid that loan to my parents.
Do you remember your first day?
I do—I wore a yellow dress and I shared an office on the third-floor corner with a window and two other co-workers. It was also right after the strike ended (a WEA Trust workers strike in 1979), so tensions were still very high, and I was pretty scared. The first people I met at lunch were Rose McDowell and Diane Katalenich. Nita Lewis was my supervisor and her boss was Corinne Magnoni – both great people to work for.
How has your job changed over the years?
I have seen many changes—when I first started, all of the claims were key punched into the system. Everything in the Accounting department was manually processed and financial statements were produced monthly by an outside vendor. The invoices we gave to the school districts were on green bar paper and we kept them in a records room. We did school audits on big green worksheets in pencil and used a lot of calculator tape.
We did purchase software to produce financial statements in-house, but it was very regimented and no changes in the format, etc. could be made. In recent years, we have really become more automated, streamlined and efficient. We process everything ourselves and it is all cloud based.
What has been your (or the company’s) biggest achievement/success?
I am happy that WEA Trust has always been able to be customer driven—that our members come first.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I really like to research things. I like to work cash flow and our banking relationships, and oddly enough I like to work on audit requests. I like working with other departments on updates and upgrades to our systems.
What is your favorite memory of the last 40 years?
I have many wonderful memories, we used to party a lot, after work and Christmas parties. I have made many wonderful friendships that are lifelong, and I will treasure forever. WEA Trust is my home away from home.