Me & My Career – Laura Shilling Business Development Manager, Savvi Credit Union

Michael Lewis

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Engage People speaks to Laura Shilling, Business Development Manager at Savvi Credit Union about shifting preconceptions and career highlights.

How did you get into your current role and what do you enjoy most about it?

After being in Finance for most of my working life I was looking for something different. I was approached about a new role in Savvi Credit Union which intrigued me. When I met the CEO I was bowled over by how the Credit Union worked.

Even though I’d been in Finance for so long, Credit Unions were never on my radar. It was something my parents used, it wasn’t suited to the needs of a modern generation. How wrong I was! I’ve been here for a year now and learned so much. To me, Savvi Credit Union is a bit of a best kept secret. The company’s ethos and values are very much in line with mine. We’re both about the community, about people helping people. This is more vital than ever in the modern world.


I have lots of highlights over my working life but one that stands out was being Chairman of GE Volunteers. The work we did was fantastic and so rewarding, in particular our involvement with Sophia Housing. The projects we took part in there were really varied, from building a sensory garden to renovating houses for people in need.

The next best highlight has to be getting a world record in climbing the 26 peaks in Ireland in less than 100 hours! I cried and laughed over the 96 hours it took, and was certainly pushed to my limits both physically and mentally – only having 12 hours sleep didn’t help!

Early lessons?

“Carpe Diem”. Life is short. Enjoy it while we are here.

Personal Rules/Principals?

The most expensive sentence in business is “We’ve always done it this way”. It’s vital to challenge processes and procedures, especially if they have been in place for quite some time. Looking at how you can approach things differently is always a good thing. And, it can often bring about necessary and effective change, in any organisation.

What about technology?

Technology is part of our day to day life but it’s good to just step away sometimes. We are driven by technology too much. In meetings, we can often be beholden to the devices in our hands. All laptops, smartphones etc. should be left outside when you go into a meeting. Instead, try to be present both physically and mentally. It’s good to talk!


In conversation with Paul McClatchie, Engage People