International Credit Union Leadership Scholarships Offer Front Row Seats to Costa Rican Credit Union Operations

Emerging credit union leaders have an opportunity to learn how credit unions in Costa Rica are reaching underserved populations through an intensive, two-week internship program offered by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).

The International Credit Union Leadership Program has twelve scholarships available, covering all expenses except airfare, for the Costa Rica experience June 9-22, 2013.   During the internships, American credit union professionals spend two weeks interning alongside foreign credit union colleagues to learn how they better serve diverse membership including youth, low-income and Hispanic members.  The internship includes placement in a credit union, lodging with a host family, meals, transportation and insurance.

Rodney Wilson, Legislative and Regulatory Lobbyist for the California/Nevada Credit Union Leagues said a similar internship in the Dominican Republic, was “by far, the best short-term professional experience of my life.”

“I was able to work with their credit union association to host a conference for credit union executives from all over the country, in which I shared the best practices of a government relations program to help them advance the credit union movement,” he continued.

While Wilson shared best practices from American credit unions during his internship, many interns also bring back valuable insight from the international credit unions they visit.

If you’re interested in applying for an internship, you can gain more insight by visiting the World Council’s International Leadership Program Facebook page.

Applicants should arrange time off with their credit union before applying, according to instructions posted on the leadership program’s website. The sponsoring credit union is responsible for paying the intern’s airfare – estimated to be $950.

The application process includes an essay and an on-line or telephone interview.

Candidates should meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate personal commitment and the ability to significantly influence the credit union
  • Show leadership and entrepreneurial skills and demonstrate how personal initiative has contributed to the credit union’s development
  • Exhibit the potential to advance the national or international credit union system through initiatives that would also help the development of his or her community
  • Be  actively involved as an employee or board member of a credit union or organization affiliated with World Council through the Credit Union National Association or a state credit union league
  • Be available to travel on the specific dates outlined by the program
  • Not be a World Council employee or board member
  • Have a career trajectory within the credit union industry
  • Intermediate Spanish-language skills (ideal but not necessary)

The deadline for applications has been extended, and is open through April 30.


Posted in Advocacy News, Around the NW.