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Celebrating ESL Employees During Black History Month:
Felicia Bryant

February 2021

In honor of Black History Month, we’d like to introduce you to a few ESL employees who have built unique careers for themselves in and outside of ESL. Then learn more about our commitment to becoming a diverse, inclusive workplace that provides equitable growth opportunities for all employees.

Meet Felicia Bryant, Relationship Banker, ESL Irondequoit Office

Why do you think it’s important for companies and their employees to recognize and celebrate Black History Month?

Black people have faced so much adversity and still do. It is nice to be celebrated for all that we have contributed to this world.

It has been a pleasure working here at ESL. I like that the company is becoming more diverse. Last year, ESL began recognizing Juneteenth. My family and I have always celebrated it, and now my ESL family can start in the celebration too.

Tell us about your current role and any other positions you’ve had at ESL.

October of this year (2021) marks my 10-year work anniversary!

Share something unique about your own career experiences.

First let me just say that I love to help people and give back whenever I can. When I started at ESL as part time teller, I still was working full time hours at a retail organization. After about a year and a half, I was promoted and offered a full-time position as a Teller ll. So then my other job became my part-time job. It’s funny how that worked.

Soon after, I was promoted to a Sr. Teller. I held this position for about five years. I really liked being a Sr. Teller. But sometimes you have to get uncomfortable to level up!

My new role as a Relationship Banker is an extension of my role of a Sr. Teller. As a Teller, I would suggest that members speak to Relationship Bankers about different ways we could help them. Now I can connect them with products and services that help them achieve their financial goals. I get to see the seeds I plant, and then watch them grow. It's a beautiful thing.

What are some lessons you’ve learned about managing your career growth; was your career path exactly how you envisioned it would be or have there been surprises?

What you put in is what you get out. My path hasn’t be straight. I had envisioned that I would be someone’s boss by now, but life has a way of changing the narrative on you. I have no regrets. I am where I’m supposed to be for the time being. Stay tuned!

What has provided the best opportunities for career growth?

Putting myself out there. I’m all about networking. Using the tools that ESL makes available for me.

What career advice would you offer to those starting out?

Listen to the one before you. Experience is one of the best teachers. Take notes, network, and network some more.

Has ESL provided support to help you manage your career?

Yes, I have, as a matter of fact. I signed up for the new iCareer development program to keep myself engaged in my career development. I’ve also signed up for iVisits (the ESL program that connects employees with employees in other departments to learn how they function).

What is your favorite part of working at ESL?

This company is the best company I’ve ever worked for. ESL really cares about us. I love the people that I work with. We have our ups and downs, but at the end of the day, we are family.