Welcome to Baker College’s Spotlight feature, a series of brief interviews with notable BC students, faculty and alumni who are making news and reaching new heights in their educational and professional pursuits.
This edition of Spotlight features Nathan Davidson, who earned both his Associate of Business degree (Accounting/Management) and Bachelor of Business Administration degree (Accounting) from Baker College. Davidson is the Chief Financial Officer for Genisys Credit Union. Here we learn more about Nathan and his professional path and passions.
Baker College (BC): We’re glad to have the chance to talk with you today, Nathan. We know you earned two degrees from Baker College…what can you tell our readers about why you chose Baker College for your educational pursuits?
Nathan Davidson (ND): Baker offered the flexibility needed to balance being a young, working parent. Baker’s online program allowed me to complete my studies during the evening, after work.
BC: We know that need for flexibility resonates with so many of our students. While a Baker student, you studied business management and accounting. What first inspired/drove you to pursue a career in the financial industry?
ND: My father is the primary reason I decided to pursue a career in the financial industry. He worked in the industry for most of his career, and he was definitely the one who pointed me in this direction, even if he did not do so intentionally.
BC: We’re sure he’s proud of your career accomplishments to date! Almost five years ago, you were named to your first C-suite role, as CFO of Genisys Credit Union. What do you find most challenging or most rewarding about your responsibilities as an executive leader?
ND: The unknown has to be the most challenging in this capacity. It seems like every other day, something pops up that catches you off-guard that you have never experienced before. In the same regard, having a team that can assist you in weathering these situations is critical, and fortunately I am blessed with that at Genisys Credit Union. Tackling these challenges day-in-and-day-out as a team is extremely rewarding.
BC: Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say! You have more than 20 years of experience in accounting, finance, risk management and compliance…what do you like best about your job/career path? What would you change if you could?
ND: Over the 20+ years I have been in this industry, I have had the pleasure of working in so many different areas in both banks and credit unions. From retail branch sales and management to audit, finance and risk management, all of these experiences helped pave the way for me to be a successful CFO at one of the strongest performing credit unions in the country. I would not change anything related to the path I took to get to this position.
BC: It’s wonderful to learn how much you’ve enjoyed the process, as much as the results, in growing your career. What were your career goals when you enrolled at BC? How do they compare to where you are today?
ND: I have been fortunate that my career goals have been, and continue to be the same, as they were back when I started in banking!
BC: How do you feel your time at/degrees from Baker College have contributed to your professional successes?
ND: Often we hear that a degree is just a piece of paper that we need, but my degrees from Baker single-handedly allowed me to get to where I am. The experience I gained from working in the industry for over 20 years was crucial, but in order for me to make that final leap into executive management, the degrees were essential. Without Baker, I would not be where I am today.
BC: And we’re so thrilled to see all that you have accomplished! With your career achievements to-date, what best piece of advice can you share with current college students?
ND: I would tell them to never stop learning. So many things and people have contributed to my personal success, but the most important is most definitely my continued education.
BC: Thanks again for sharing your insights with us, Nathan. Lastly, what one thing would you want others to know about Baker College?
ND: Baker was the College that offered me the greatest flexibility necessary to continue my education while working and being a parent. Without such a program, I most likely would have had to hold off on obtaining my degrees, ultimately putting me substantially behind the curve in my professional career.