Skip To Content

Celebrating ESL Employees During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Quintina Bounmala

Q&A with Quintina Bounmala, Assistant Branch Manager, Victor

May 2022

In recognition of Asia American And Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we would like to introduce you to a few ESL employees who took the time to share thoughts about their career journey here at ESL. Their stories are an inspiration to us all, and we are proud of their accomplishments! Once you learn more about them, learn more about our continued commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse workplace that provides equitable growth opportunities for all employees.

Why do you think it’s important for companies and their employees to recognize and celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month?

I think it’s important for organizations to recognize diversity and heritage months because we all don’t come from the same background. I think if we educated ourselves more and learned about each other, we would have a better sense of respect for one another’s culture. At the end of the day, we are all human beings, and while we all have different experiences and backgrounds, we all want the same thing, to be respected.

For how long have you been at ESL and what has your experience been like?

I have been at ESL for five years and, overall, my experience has been wonderful!

Tell us about your current role at ESL.

I am the Assistant Branch Manager of the new Victor office. My role is to supervise the teller line in a manner that optimizes efficiency and ensures we’re delivering a superior customer experience. I pursued this career after realizing I enjoy building relationships with people and my interest in finance. I put the two together and decided to head into banking and have worked my way up to the position I am currently in.

How has ESL helped you grow (personally and professionally) and reach the position you’re in today?

ESL has helped me grow personally because now my friends and family see me more than just what I was 10 years ago, which was a bartender. Now they come to me for advice on their financial needs, and I can see that they take my answers seriously because I have changed my life in such a short period of time. Professionally, ESL has been there for me in allowing me to learn and grow in each role I have taken on. Starting as a teller and entering the banking world and not knowing much, I was terrified! I really can say the training here and the resources we have to find answers have helped me significantly to learn. Also going to events such as those for young professionals, forums and work events have shown me that is more than just another credit union, that we are one big family.

What has helped you get to where you are today?

What helped me most to get to where I am today is staying positive, having the right attitude and being honest. I am a firm believer that your mental state can dictate how things may pan out. The law of attraction is real and manifesting what you want is powerful.

What stands out the most about ESL, for you?

What stands out the most about ESL to me is the opportunity for growth and ESL’s efforts in helping our community thrive and prosper. It truly amazes me for being a small-medium size company how much we donate and give back to our community. It just shows that we are trying each year to make a difference.

Everyone has their own unique career journey. Share something unique about your own career experiences.

I used to work in the bar and restaurant industry and after some thought, I knew my value in that industry wasn’t what I had in mind for the rest of my life. I decided to quit my job and focus on some soul searching. During that time, I did odd jobs and ended up working at a coffee shop. I can tell you right now, I was not a happy person working there. One Saturday night during my shift, I saw people coming and going and just living life and enjoying their weekends. That is something I’ve always wanted. I started to think to myself, why can’t I have that? What am I doing wrong? And then I started to laugh out loud. My co-worker at the time asked me if I was okay and of course I said, “no, I am not okay, there is more to life than just this and I am done.” Luckily enough I connected with the ESL Pittsford branch and asked if ESL was hiring and long story short, I applied, got hired and worked my way up to where I am today.

What advice or tips would you share with others in the community, whether it be job seekers or just people in general?

My advice is to not to listen to advice from too many people, you may find yourself overwhelmed with so many opinions. I believe that if you stay true to who you are as an individual, you will surround yourself with like-minded people and make the right decision for whatever you are looking for. Above all, if you’re in the job market seeking something new in your life, find that niche and stick to it, we all have strengths and weaknesses and it’s a matter of recognizing what you enjoy and turning that into something you are passionate about!

Is there anything else you would like to add or that you think is important for people to know?

As a member of the AAPI community, LGTBQ community, and being a woman, it is nice to see more diversity in the workplace and even outside of work. Growing up and watching movies/TV shows, you want to relate to characters, but I found it hard to relate to any character because none of them looked like me. Now that I am in a leadership role and can be more active in my community, I want to show others like me that it is okay to be uncomfortable, to step outside the box and to be curious to truly find yourself.