- You’re going to have to be comfortable going outside of your comfort zone to learn new things (painting parade floats in the same building that they build the Mardi Gras floats in).
- You’re most likely going to present in front of some of the smartest folks in our industry and beyond (after listening to professors from Harvard and Princeton, I feel I have an “Ivy League” education).
- You might gain weight from all the great food. Filene doesn’t like to see anyone go hungry (seafood tower anyone?).
You’re going to go through cycles where you will be placed with a new team every six months to solve for a problem, prototype a solution, and present that solution in front of the brainiacs of the credit union and consumer finance world. You will at least get to present your solutions in fun locations; such as: Harvard, New Orleans, and Canada to name a few.
Here's why I i3
After overcoming all the challenges above during my i3 experience, I learned to turn things inside out, how to build a problem statement without jumping to a conclusion, how to use empathy mapping and member journey mapping to improve the member experience, and amongst many other knowledge nuggets, how to prototype and iterate with limited bandwidth (time, budget, resources, and human capital). I was able to take all this back to my credit union and help improve our credit union for the betterment of our employees and for the improvement of our members’ financial lives.
Seeing from another angle
A few months ago, I joined Filene as an employee and I can no longer finish my last cycle. I was so bummed. I’m actually still complaining about it, but the upside of this is that I now get to see i3 through the eyes of the Filene team. When a cycle is complete and the work of the i3 team is done, the work for team Filene is just starting. Filene takes the most promising ideas from the i3 meeting and prepares them to be tested in the credit union marketplace.
That’s where we get to start seeing the impact the ideas from i3 are having for credit unions and most importantly, their members. Filene is in the process of seeking out credit unions to pilot the latest i3 innovation, Bank on Family, and I was on the team that created this. I’m thrilled to see the impact that this will have from both the eyes of an i3’er and a Filene’er.
How you can i3, too
So yes, you’re definitely going to put in extra work, but if your passions lie in the effort to improve consumers’ financial lives, then it’s so worth it. Applications are open now through May 31. Read up on the application process and invest some time in yourself to do this. It is worth it on so many levels.
Lastly, I must thank our Filene members and collaborative organizations. It would not be possible to have this amazing i3 experience without their generous support.