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Sarah Kreger
Retired Certified IT Specialist
McLean, Virginia

“I didn’t come to FCA straight from college or even to examining right after joining FCA. After working and going to college in Richmond for five years, I moved to Northern Virginia in 1981 and went to work for FCA in the word processing pool while I attended the University of Maryland part time. I was on the 10-year college plan; I finally graduated in December 1986 with a degree in business management.

“In the meantime, I had been promoted to secretary in the Office of Examination. After I graduated from college, one of the division directors talked me into applying for an open examiner position. The job sounded interesting. I liked the idea of travel, which sounded great to someone who had never traveled much. And I already knew many of the people and liked them.

“I started as an associate examiner in May 1987 and was commissioned in 1992. I went on to get more training in the information technology specialization and have been a certified IT specialist since 1994. Most of my work involves examining institutions that have at least $1 billion in assets. These exams are more complex and take two to three weeks to complete. On these examinations, I work with FCA examiners from all over the country.

“As for opportunities, there have been plenty; I’ve been thrown in the deep end many times with opportunities. People here seem to feel that I’ve been able to do new things even when I have not felt that way myself, but they’ve always been there to give me support. They’ve sent me on out-of-the-ordinary exams—I just finished a contract exam [an exam for a Federal agency outside of the FCS] that was the first of its kind. For some reason I was chosen to do it, and it worked out.

“I’ve learned to work with all sorts of people in the System. I’m not as shy as I used to be—you can’t be shy when you have to ask people about loans all the time. If you don’t get the answer you need the first time, you have to figure out a way to get it. People may not really understand what you need, so you have to determine what the communication barrier is and try to remove it. So my communication skills were one of the first things that improved.

“Board presentations used to be really scary when I first started. Particularly when associations merge, there can be a lot of board members. Presentations take a lot of getting used to and a lot of practice, but I’m much more comfortable with them now.

“I was lucky to fall into a job that I still like. I’ve really enjoyed my years here. The people are great, and always have been.”

Sarah retired from FCA in Jan. 2013.