Last week I learned that I was chosen by Cherokee Media’s Auto Fin Journal in conjunction with Used Car Week 2020 as an honoree for the 2020 class of Women in Automotive Finance. Wow, I’m truly humbled. It’s an honor, and in looking at the other honorees, I’m in some high-caliber company. I’d like to thank my team for making this honor possible.
For more than 15 years I’ve assisted automotive finance and buy here-pay here professionals protect their vehicle assets and improve their finance portfolios by providing the hardware, software, and sophisticated analytics they generate to recover and remarket vehicle assets quickly and efficiently.
When in college my focus was sociology, however, I quickly determined there was zero money in that field so I started networking, rolled up my sleeves. Young and motivated, I quickly got to work. I was fortunate to find an opportunity with a subprime auto finance company as an admin, but there were a couple of things that were going for this entry level position. First, I reported directly to the CEO, which often put me in a position of knowing what going on before others in the company. Secondly, I had the opportunity to early a monthly commission based on departmental performance. I instantly had skin in the game.
After some on the job learning and hard work I became integral to a full admin staff of five, and a dedicated department supporting more than 400 collectors and department heads. Understanding the intricacies of the company and the interpersonal relationships, I found myself looking forward to getting to the office. Commissions were rolling in, and I was recognized by senior leadership as a vital member of the loan servicing department.
My position was so interconnected with all department heads, I was in a position to build on these relationships and jump on career advancement opportunities. I look back on those early years and I am grateful to that CEO for taking a chance on me. All I needed was an opportunity and I took it from there. Now, 15 years later, I still love this industry. It’s tough and gritty at times, but so am I!
Being “gritty” is important, and young women in this business must understand they will be surrounded by men and that they must have a thick skin. Don’t take any crap, but also don’t sweat the small stuff. Learn the company culture and adapt to fit in. Like it or not, this industry was founded by men and chances are a man has helped or influenced you along the way. Be grateful for that and don’t ignore it. If you see an opportunity – go for it. Don’t ever second guess yourself.
Again, this is truly an honor, and I encourage women anywhere to consider the automotive finance industry as a career. It presents challenges and opportunities. Should you want a chance to learn about these opportunities, feel free to reach out to me via email at email@example.com
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