I have opportunities to share knowledge about the best ways to handle money to make your goals a reality.
As an added bonus, I get to use my photography skills in the creation of FAST’s marketing materials. The best part? I’m paid to do what I love!
Jennifer Solis is well known for helping young people get a jumpstart on their financial wellness. One could assume she started out in accounting or finance. Not the case! Jennifer started her career in photography and her passion for capturing beauty has led her to have an exciting career as Vice President of FAST Credit Union.
Jennifer embodies what it is to be a committed community member. She knows that the more financially literate students are, the more opportunity they will have to pursue their dreams. And that's all the motivation she needs. Here's our interview with her.
When you were first starting to learn about work, was there a specific career you were interested in? If so, what was it and why?
Yes, photography, because I wanted to share my perspective with the world - the beauty and living art all around us. I was inspired by a photography class in high school. It’s one of the reason I’m so passionate about the pathway programs; early exposure can create more opportunities. I worked my way up at studios in the Central Valley and Monterey – I was even awarded Grand National Champion! Now, the industry has changed drastically with the advancement of technology; everyone has a camera on their cell phone.
What inspired you to choose this career? How did you get started?
My current career was inspired by Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Class and the facilitator, Paula Lehn, CEO of FAST Credit Union. I was helping others in the class and realized I found my new passion and career goal.
What is the most rewarding part of being VP of FAST Credit Union?
I have opportunities to share knowledge about the best ways to handle money to make your goals a reality. As an added bonus, I get to use my photography skills in the creation of FAST’s marketing materials. The best part? I’m paid to do what I love!
What qualities/skills does a person need to possess to be in your position?
You have to love working with people and be a good communicator, verbally and in writing - because so much communication is done with technology. The soft skills are so important. You also have to know your greatest strengths and be able to attract a team to support you with your weaknesses. I do have multiple degrees, but others have worked hard to be in a similar position. Since I’m also the Investment Executive for our FAST Financial Services, you need Series 7 and 66 licenses. Working at a small credit union means you wear many hats, so you have to love variety.
FAST Credit Union is very involved in the community and specifically with helping young people gain career skills and aspirations - Why is this important to you? Did someone help you?
My parents raised me with a lot of the skills I use today and they set the standards high. I thank them often because I help people who know they would be in a better position if they had made different choices, or were exposed to this information at a younger age. It’s important to me because I have the opportunity to remind them it’s never too late to start fulfilling your dreams. If I can share this knowledge with young people, they’ll be more successful if they implement it. This ultimately improves the future of our community – and that’s an exciting thought!
What is a movie you could watch over and over again?
That’s a great question! I’ve never had a favorite anything – it’s strange I know, but I like variety. Right now I’d have to say The Holiday.
Anything else you'd like us to know?
I’m where I am today because of the people around me. They’ve taken the time to invest in me by sharing their knowledge, setting the example and believing in me. I’d like all of us to give these same opportunities to those around us and the next generation.