HSSCU Staff Focus: Assistant Galway Branch Manager Emma

News, Tuesday 21st July, by HSSCU

Welcome to HSSCU’s Staff Focus!

We are delighted to introduce you to our Galway Branch Assistant Manager – Emma!  Emma is a Galway girl through and through and loves her home county/city. Our Galway branch staff members take care of many of our CIE and healthcare members and they really are jacks of all trades. Emma talks us through the workings of our Galway branch, her wedding and why she loves HSSCU 🙂


Hi Emma, firstly tell us a little bit about yourself!


My name is Emma and I’m from Galway.  I had lived in Dublin for 3 years before moving back home. I am engaged to Frankie, am planning a wedding and buying a house, which has taken up all of my free time.


HSSCU Staff Focus - Emma Barrett - Galway


What led you to working in the Credit Union Movement?


I graduated from college with a degree in Business and Finance. On returning home from living in Australia, I worked in a bank in Dublin. I spotted the vacancy in the HSSCU Galway branch and I saw it as a great opportunity to progress my career.  Returning to Galway was an added bonus.


We know you’ve lived in both Dublin and Galway – how do the 2 cities compare for you?


I am a little biased here, both cities are vibrant and have a lot to offer, but, being a Galway girl, there is only one winner in my eyes 🙂


Our Galway branch was originally a CIE credit union. Do you still get many CIE members coming in each week?


The CIE members have really embraced the transfer to HSSCU and we see a lot of familiar faces coming through the door. We have also been welcoming more and more of the newer members, which is great!


The Galway branch staff are jacks of all trades! What is your favourite role to take on?


Yes, you could say that! We have been lucky enough to have a varied workload. I would think of myself as a people person, so I really enjoy interacting with the members.


How have things changed since COVID-19?


Things have changed quite a bit since Covid-19. Our doors closed to our members for a couple of weeks, but we continued to be available and support them over the phone, online and by email. I was one of the first team members to return to the branch, after a few weeks working from home.  It was great to get back into a routine and see some different faces.


How do you keep sane at this time?


Keeping in touch with friends and family. I live close to the Prom in Salthill, so I have been out walking.  I also enjoy the odd glass of Prosecco 🙂


What are your guilty pleasures to help you through the pandemic?


My baking skills were let’s say… lacking, so I have been baking up a storm in the kitchen.


We know you’re in the midst of planning the wedding of the century! How are plans proceeding with COVID?


Well, we (I) had the wedding planned for June, which obviously didn’t happen,  so the countdown is on for next July, for an even bigger celebration! After 11 years together, we can wait another year before starting married life together.


What is your favourite thing about working in HSSCU?


The people, definitely!! My colleagues across the whole of HSSCU and the members. I consider Ann, Paula, Rachel and John my work family now, spending the majority of my week with them.  We have some fun and I enjoy going into work each day. 


Our Ranelagh office loves jam donuts – do the Galway branch have any favourite treats?


Chocolates, cakes, biscuits, we like them all. Red velvet cake would be one of our favourites. but we are not too fussy 🙂


Do you have any shows or movies you’d recommend we watch to brighten up our days?


I have been watching some old classic Disney movies and ‘Succession’ on Now TV, I would definitely recommend it.


Lastly, what, in your opinion, makes credit unions different to other places you’ve worked?


The members are forefront of everything we do and we are always looking at ways to improve our service and the product we are offering to them.


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