RBA Member of the Month: Brunilda Isaj

Brunilda is our first Albanian CRB, so we thought it would be great to see how she got there.

Can you describe what your study methods are?

In my opinion, study methods are individual and each person finds a way to absorb as much information as possible in the most effective way. For me, it has been very useful connecting the issues discussed in the textbook and supporting materials with events of my daily professional life, most of the topics were not only relevant, they were absolutely useful. Implementation comes first, theory second, and this is a very useful way to learn by doing.

How do you find the work, study and family balance? Do you have any advice for other students currently studying for one of the CRB levels?

I think it’s all about keeping the right focus at the right time, I shift focus between family, work and study to give each my full concentration. My family has supported me a great deal in all what I do.

How do you think RBA Membership will support the development of Retail Banking as a profession?

The most important aspect of RBA membership is the promotion of ethical banking. I believe retail bankers around the globe should remind themselves every time they sign a paper that ethics should be the cornerstone of their activity. Behaving ethically, in a fully compliant way, with the customer in mind, will not only bring more business as a result of an increased level of trust, but will also assure a long, healthy presence of the banking institution in the relevant market. The other aspect is spreading knowledge around the globe; setting professional standards in retail banking activities will create a pattern that will be followed internationally.

Now that you are ready to take the next step in your career, how do you think the Careers Corner will support you?

I would recommend the careers corner to anybody that has an intention to grow professionally, and not only to job seekers. The templates provided, hints and instructions, as well as the practical sense of materials can play an important role in self-promotion and in making an impression. In today’s world, it is important to differentiate yourself from the crowd with everything you present, such as an introductory letter, a well-written CV, presentation skills and following negotiations.

With a background in Business Development and strategy, what is your strategy for your career planning and professional development?

I have 19 years’ experience in retail banking, of which more than a decade has been spent in senior positions. Being able to match your personal skills and capabilities with opportunities in the market, is really important; it creates confidence and focus. I am passionate about retail banking, so I will continue following that path. I would be thrilled to take my experience internationally.

As an experienced public speaker, how do you prepare for high-stress events?

Being the centre of attention, and also being able to convey the right message requires a lot of positive energy. The higher the executive position, the more comfortable you have to be with crowds, big or small. Retail banking is about leading people, I tend to focus on what I want to say, but never forget to keep a close eye on the community. If you speak as an ally, everyone will tend to agree with you. It is important to get to know the crowd first; smile, breath, and start connecting the thoughts with words. Confidence is key.

Are there any other comments you might want to add about the RBA or your CRB journey?

I want to thank everyone on the Academy for being amazing. The knowledge they have offered and the vision they have created for retail banking worldwide as a “customer-centric” business. I will continuously keep up-to-date with the industry through the Membership platform, aiming to continuously improve myself and helping people live a life by better standards.


Have you got what it takes to become a CRB? Learn more here.

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