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Finding the Perfect Career Fit

The career journey of Evanne, Home Equity Loan Originator

For many of us, the journey to a fulfilling career is not a straight or simple path, but one full of twists, turns, and obstacles and opportunities along the way. This story is one in a series showcasing the unique paths that our colleagues have taken upward to achieve career success at Citizens. Read about how Evanne Rugani, a home loan originator, was Made Ready to fashion a new career path. Maybe you are, too.

I’ve spent my professional career really working for two companies; Two very different companies.

The first was with a national clothing retailer. What started out as a part-time job in high-school and college eventually turned into a full-time career as a staffing and operations supervisor, then store manager.

I had great success, but the demands of retail were too much for me; I was ready to make a change.

I never expected that change would take me from a career in apparel to financial services.

But it was actually a woman I met at the gym who put me on that path. She worked in sales at Citizens and thought that would be a great career for me.

I was interested in sales, but to be honest, I really didn’t have any sales experience. In fact, one of the things I struggled with at my previous position was selling credit cards.

But when a position opened up at Citizens for a home equity loan processor, I thought that my experience would make me a … no pun intended … good fit.

The woman made a referral and I got the job.

That position was one of the best career moves I could make.

It would provide a starting point for me to get into the company and eventually transition into sales.

From the beginning, I made it clear that this was my plan, telling every manager in sales and operations in my building about my goals.

But as much as I wanted that for myself, I knew I couldn’t just jump into it.

My managers knew that I had really good customer service and relationship-building skills; it was just a matter of having solid comprehension of the products and how everything worked. The loan processor position would provide that opportunity. And more importantly, it would also give me a chance to do something I was eager to do: prove myself.

I didn’t miss that opportunity.

In no time at all, I had achieved some pretty big accomplishments, including being named Processor of the Year.

I spent about three years in that position and worked harder than I ever have. I don’t think I would have had the success that I’ve had in my career at Citizens if it weren’t for the base of knowledge I accumulated in that position.

When they finally moved me into a sales position, I didn’t do as well as I had hoped … at first. Sales was so new to me and I actually felt overwhelmed.

My managers, who knew my strengths, work ethic, and goals, were so supportive, actually creating a role for me as a home loan originator. In this position, I work with customers who have submitted home equity loan applications in the branches to answer their questions and guide them through completing the process.

It’s crazy busy, but I absolutely love it! It’s just so great to talk to customers and to help them take the next step.

But even though I love my job, it’s still just the start. I have very high expectations of myself and am constantly looking for ways to be my best self. I used to be a bodybuilder and I think that’s where it comes from.

I definitely want to learn more and move up in my career. My sales manager has always supported me and I know if the right opportunity presents itself, I would have no problem going to him and asking for his input.

I couldn’t ask for a better manager or more helpful colleagues.

Overall, it’s just a really supportive environment. I have a three-year-old, and with COVID, I have to care for her at home. Citizens has just been so supportive with that, giving me the work/life flexibility I need.

It’s just a great place to work with a great culture; it’s the perfect fit.

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