CUES Member Q&A: Emerging Leader Reflects on Learning Milestones

green chalk drawing of milestone boxes
Janaye Elkin Photo
Compliance & Risk Officer/Privacy Officer
Bow Valley Credit Union

5 minutes

Janaye Elkin completes all 42 Harvard ManageMentor courses while ‘learning on the go.’

CUES thanks Janaye Elkin for taking the time to talk to us about her learning experiences, including completing all 42 Harvard ManageMentor™ courses offered through membership and participating in the CUES Emerge program. A CUES member, Elkin is compliance and risk officer, privacy officer for $441 million Bow Valley Credit Union, Cochrane, Alberta.

What Got You Started With Harvard ManageMentor?

I first found out about HMM after I won access to the learning collection’s “leveraging your networks” course through the Emerging Leaders of Alberta program. I was impressed with the variety of courses available and started exploring them more fully when I was given a complimentary membership after being accepted into the 2021 CUES Emerge program.

How Long Did It Take to Complete All 42 Courses on Harvard ManageMentor?

It took about five months to complete all of the courses.

How Did You Budget Your Time for Achieving This Amazing Milestone?

I would spend time working on the courses in the evenings so that I could stay on track. I wanted to work through the courses without letting too much time pass between each lesson so that the material was still fresh in my mind.

When Did Completing All 42 Become Your Goal? Why?

I’m not sure that I even considered not completing all of the courses! I’m an avid learner and I always do my best to take any learning opportunities and run with them.

What Was Your Learning Practice Like Before Starting on the Harvard ManageMentor Courses?

I feel like I always have some type of learning on the go! The credit union system is wonderful for giving employees access to courses and ongoing learning opportunities.

Did You Have a Favorite Harvard ManageMentor Course? If Yes, Which One? Why?

My two favorite courses were “strategic thinking” and “change management.” These courses help me to be mindful of cognitive biases in my thought patterns and how to successfully navigate times of change in a way that builds resilience.

What Do You Like Most About the Harvard ManageMentor Course Format/Presentation/Style of Learning?

I liked that the courses could also be done on a mobile phone which made it easy to navigate through the courses when I was on the go. I found the group discussions with other course participants over Zoom that were part of the CUES Emerge program to be extremely beneficial as well. The courses come with tons of extra material and worksheets that have already come in handy for me!

Did You Have a Top Takeaway From All the Courses? How Do You Apply That Takeaway in Your Work?

The top takeaway for me was the importance of positioning myself in a growth mindset and being open to the idea that there’s always more to learn. I have found that one of the best ways to learn is by talking to other people. Even through normal conversations, everyone brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. Each day is an opportunity to learn something new (and it might come from unexpected places too)!

What Inspired You to Participate in CUES Emerge?

I’m not the type of person to turn down an opportunity to learn and grow so when I came across the program information, I couldn’t wait to apply! I had been looking for a chance to step outside of my comfort zone and strengthen my leadership skills.

What Was the Best Part of Your Participation in the Program?

The best was having the opportunity to meet other credit union professionals and being part of my cohort, also known as the “Fab 5 Team”! Learning from their insights was so valuable. The training material and learning sessions provided tons of resources that I know I can go back and reference at any time. It has definitely had a lasting impact on my career.

What Was Your Top Takeaway From Participating in CUES Emerge?

When coming up with a solution, you don’t have to solve the whole problem. It’s more about figuring out what your first step is! As you start to take action, you will build momentum.

What Advice Do You Have to Other Credit Union Leaders About How to Manage Their Learning?

Invest in yourself! Committing to your own learning and development is a wonderful way to invest in your future and keep you focused on growth. Take time to sit with what you’ve learned and reflect on ways to incorporate these insights into real life.

What Are Your Next Learning Goals?

My next goal is to become a certified anti-money laundering specialist through the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists. I would also like to learn more about psychology and law.

What Is Your Overall Career Goal?

I’m very purpose-driven, so my main goal is to make a meaningful impact in the world. I’m not exactly sure what that will look like, however, I’m interested in studying criminal justice reform, exploring human behavior and holistic wellness, and ensuring that people have the resources and tools they need to be successful.

What Question Was Not Asked That You Would Like to Answer?

What podcast are you listening to right now?

My favorite podcast at the moment is Self Care IRL by Ty Alexander. She is super down-to-earth and provides very real and practical advice for handling life’s unavoidable challenges. An honorable mention goes to Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet, a hilarious podcast that reads out the internet’s most ridiculous online reviews.

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