From Bemidji to St. Paul, Affinity Plus leaders pour into Minnesota college students

Students learn about leadership, resumes, and tips about how to find their future career paths.

PAUL & BEMIDJI, MN (April 22, 2015)– Over the course of the last few weeks, leaders from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union held guest speaking roles at Minnesota colleges both in St. Paul and Bemidji. President/CEO Dave Larson and Vice President of Lending Corey Rupp spent an afternoon at the University of St. Thomas and Bemidji State University, respectively, sharing advice and experiences with the future generation of employees.

Larson, a graduate of St. Thomas, is a participant in the university’s Student-Alumni Mentoring program for undergraduate students. Through recent work with his assigned mentee, Larson was invited to speak at a strategic management class, ironically taught by one of his former professors. Larson discussed leadership with students, provided insight on his career path, and opened himself up to share opinions and advice during a lengthy Q&A session.

“I remember being a graduating senior not really knowing what the future was ahead of me,”Larson said. “It’s fun to talk with students about life, to give them advice, and to provide a glimpse of some of the things that they’re might encounter.

“I appreciate being able to give something back – both to the students and to the school,” he added

And Larson stressed that this has been a mutually-beneficial relationship, as he has had an opportunity to learn from the students as well.

“We hire a lot of employees that are college-age, plus there’s so much happening in the financial service industry that young adults can help us with,” Larson said. “We value the opinions and input of those in the younger generation – they are the ones shaping banking of the future.”

On the heels of his April 8 presentation, Larson was invited back to speak with a new group of students in the fall.

Affinity Plus’ head lender Rupp shares a similar motivation as Larson, wanting to offer his experiences with students and better equip students to navigate future employment opportunities.

Rupp is a regular at Bemidji State University, where Affinity Plus has a branch on campus and works with the students on a regular basis. He has spoken each semester for the past several years on what employers look for in prospective hires. The speaking engagements at Bemidji State developed from a partnership between Affinity Plus and BSU’s career services area, focusing predominantly on juniors and seniors who are studying business and marketing.

His most recent session was April 20.

During his presentation, Rupp discussed with the students the process of getting into the workforce, characteristics of a good employee, professionalism, and how to capitalize on your strengths – regardless of what they are. For example, he said that Affinity Plus looks for candidates who are caring, hard-working, honest, driven and responsible.

Rupp also provided practical tips on resumes, follow-ups and getting noticed during the interview process.

“I think often times this discussion serves as a wake-up call for students, as I try to demonstrate to them the potential impact they have on the businesses they will work in and the communities that they will live in,” Rupp said. “As I tell the students, you have an opportunity to learn and grow in everything you do, whether you’re in class or out getting coffee and engaging with people.”

About Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit cooperative that puts people first above profits. With 27 locations throughout Minnesota, Affinity Plus is owned by its 180,000 members around the state. Additional information can be found at

Photo captions: (Left) Affinity Plus President/CEO, Dave Larson; (Right) Affinity Plus VP of Lending, Corey Rupp.

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