By Vicki Clark
Copper Basin News
When Ray Federal Credit Union Manager Adam Perlman pitched his idea of creating an intern position for a Ray High School senior to the counseling department last fall, he really didn’t know what was going to happen. What he got was so much more than what was expected.
A dynamo in the disguise of then senior Abigail Mapes applied and was selected for the job. She was one of seven applicants and had to go through a resume and interview process to secure the position.
During her tenure of working for the credit union, Abigail learned everything from soup to nuts about how a credit union is run and what it does for its members.
The whole idea was to introduce the intern to the world of business, according to Perlman.
Abigail started her internship in October of last year and during her tenure, she was exposed to everything that an employee of the credit union would endure.
She learned the correct way to answer phones and how to use the computer system to transfer money, look up statements and was active in the automotive tracking of vehicles for lien releases. “I did whatever needed to be done…pulled files, filed folders and put a lot of stuff into the system,” Abigail said.
She also learned the differences between credit unions and banking institutions.
Some of the special projects Abigail participated in were three seminars in collaboration with fellow Ray Credit Union worker, Leticia Cooley. Together they presented three seminars to the RHS business class concerning identify theft, credit and budgeting. She also represented the credit union during Octoberfest, Pioneer Days and Ray Schools staff orientation.
Abigail said her favorite part of the whole experience was when she worked as a teller up front. “I really liked interacting with people.”
According to Perlman, her interaction with the staff also was a plus. “It’s amazing how much we learned from Abigail and the impact she had on the office,” he said. “She came in with tremendous optimism and enthusiasm demonstrated by how she answered phones and greeted members.”
He added that youth kind of gets a bad rap and he didn’t see that in Abigail. “She worked hard.”
Abigail said that all the people she worked with were kind and never put her down. “They were very willing to help.
Perlman is happy that Abigail is off to college, but he is going to miss her and all the rest of the staff agrees.
Abigail is the daughter of Chris and Susan Mapes and started classes at NAU this semester.
This first year of offering the internship was so successful that the credit union will do it again this school year and is currently in the process of evaluating resumes to begin the interviewing.