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Profile Q & A - Juila Ellis, Branch Manager Progressive Building Society (Enniskillen & Omagh)

14 November, 2022

What was your first job?

My first ever job was in the local supermarket after school. I then made the leap into the financial services industry and have been there ever since. I started off as a cashier, then became a personal banker and then a financial planning manager.

What qualifications do you have?

I studied at the University of Ulster in Coleraine and received a First Class Honours in Banking before studying at Queen’s for my MSC in Finance.

Within the building society, what area do you specialise in?

I became Manager of the Enniskillen branch earlier this year. It’s a busy branch and no two days are the same so being able to multi-task is key. I love what I do but especially meeting new people looking for their dream home and motivating my staff to deliver the best service they can are what really drives me. Each day tasks can range from talking to members about their investments to giving advice on a mortgage, liaising with brokers, solicitors and valuers to managing and training my team.

Tell me something you love about your job?

I find it so rewarding helping someone achieve their dream of buying their first home or building their forever home. I love hearing from members once they have sale agreed or laid the foundations for their new family home.

Did you always want to work in the financial sector?

From a young age I always liked working with numbers and my favourite subject at school was maths. As a child I loved going with my mum when she went to get money out and being amazed at the cashiers counting the cash and how fast they were. At home when I used to play with my dolls, they were my customers and I used chocolate coins as money and a typewriter to type letters. So yes, I guess you could say I always wanted to work in the financial services sector.

Who do you look up to in business?

In business, I really admire Suzanne-Jackson O’Connor – the businesswoman behind fashion & lifestyle blog So Su Me and beauty brands So SU by SJ and Dripping Gold Tan. From starting her blog in 2010 she is now well on her way to becoming one of Ireland’s richest women under 40.

In three words how would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

Loyal, energetic and committed as I like to give 100% to anything I do.

What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

My greatest passion outside work and family is exercise and keeping fit. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week, belong to the local running club and love going for long walks on a Sunday afternoon

Ideal way to spend the weekend?

I love to spend weekends in my caravan with my husband and two boys. We love exploring and staying somewhere different. My favourite place to go is the North Coast. I just love waking up to a view of the sea and after a busy week at work there is just something so calming about the sea air and being at the seaside.


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