Alumni Highlight : Cassie Fortney
Assistant Compliance Manager for the Risk Management Department, Sunmark Federal Credit Union
B.S. (Psychology), SUNY Binghamton
MBA, Sage Graduate School of Management, Albany, NY
“I came to Sunmark from outside of the financial world. A few years ago I would have never thought it possible, but the skills I developed at Sage gave me the confidence to be a leader and excel in my new position. I now have the ability to shape the future of my professional success.”
Upon completing her undergraduate education in Psychology, Cassie Fortney found herself at a crossroads. Fortney knew that psychology wasn’t part of her long-term plan for professional growth. Realizing her growing interest in non-profit organizations, it became clear that getting her MBA would open avenues and grant her the flexibility to find something to suit her professional interests.
A native of the Capital Region, Fortney felt drawn to continue her education closer to home after returning from her time at SUNY Binghamton. But she faced what many adults in higher education encounter today, the challenge of balancing a full-time job while taking graduate classes and making time for coursework and research. It was crucial to Fortney to maintain a presence in a professional workplace, but she needed to complete her degree as efficiently as possible. Preparing for the long days and hard work ahead of her, Fortney felt reassured by the support she was receiving from the School of Management faculty and staff.
“Many people have to sacrifice - either quit their job or quit school. Night classes at Sage spared me from making that hard decision. I also had very specific interests I wanted to explore while getting my MBA. Dr. Fredericks worked with me to make that happen. We planned my electives based on my interests to tailor the program, giving me exactly what I felt I needed to succeed.”
It took no time at all for Fortney to carve out her niche at Sage - making friends and building her network. At The Sage SoM, students are encouraged to stay current with social media outlets, including LinkedIn, a practice that ultimately connected Fortney with her current employer, Sunmark Federal Credit Union.
“I’m thankful that Sunmark gave me this opportunity. I’m proud to work for a successful organization that is big enough to encourage and allow room for my personal growth, but small enough that the CEO knows my name. You can’t always find that in business today.”
In addition to her position as Assistant Compliance Manager, Fortney continues to work towards a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University at Albany, State University of New York. She hopes to one day be an inspiring example for other young professionals in the field of finance.