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A self-described people person, Apryl Thomas puts her skills to full use as a mother and a banker. (Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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As the supervisor of the Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union and DMV Express location on Washington Avenue, Apryl Thomas is working hard to adapt to the changing business landscape and raise her two kids.
“One thing that everybody here knows about Apryl is that Apryl is a momma,” she says. “Because of my children, I take everything that I do seriously because I don’t ever want them to…be the same way I grew up. I grew up in a different era than my children.”
Apryl has two daughters, four-year-old Aydan and two-year-old Ashlyn. She says they are her hobby outside of work.
“I have my children with me for everything,” she says. “I don’t read books—I read children’s books.”
Being a mother, for Apryl, is about teaching and passing on wisdom.
“Nothing is ever handed to you—that’s from my mother. You have to get up and work for it,” she says. “You have to show that you’re capable of doing it and don’t ever let anybody tell you that you can’t. The old saying that this is a man’s world is not true.”
Though she says her family didn’t struggle with poverty growing up, her father was often away with the military. Apryl was the middle child in a family of six. With her father often away, Apryl says her mother worked hard at two jobs until he returned. She wants to pass these lessons of hard work on to her kids.
“You have to find your way…That’s something I’m [still] learning as a middle child,” she says.
At Nutmeg State, this means learning to navigate both the DMV side and the financial side of the split location. It’s one of just two such locations in Connecticut.
“It’s a change. It’s not something that you’re used to,” Apryl says. “We’re all learning. We’re all growing with it.”
The merging of public and private services allows customers to transact simple DMV procedures like change of name and address forms as well as voter registration and driver’s license renewals. Nutmeg State benefits by being able to offer its services to people who come in for DMV services.
Previously, Apryl was an assistant manager at a clothing store.
“I’m a people person. I like to talk to everyone, hence the reason I was in retail for a long time,” Apryl says. “You learn how to understand the mind of an individual.”
Often, Apryl says, people will come in without knowing exactly what they’re looking for,
“I am someone who can uncover that for them or point them in the right direction,” she says.
But after some time in the retail world, Apryl decided to take her skills somewhere else.
“I needed a change and I stepped out and I went into banking. With banking, I learned a lot of different things,” she says. “This is where I want to be.”
She picked up a lot of her financial knowledge through a decade of experience from a larger banking institution. As a supervisor at Nutmeg, this helps her direct people to the kind of services they need.
“If you’re talking to a...client, they don’t really know [what they need.] That’s why they come to you, to kind of talk on their level to them and give them an understanding as to what they need to do,” Apryl says. “You learn as you go.”
One thing she Apryl hasn’t stopped learning about is technology. With the introduction of mobile banking and more, the job has changed. At Nutmeg’s North Haven location, they’ve introduced iPads and kiosks for customers to sign up for appointments and take care of their banking transactions.
“It’s a lot easier to communicate with an individual who knows how to work an iPad. You may have individuals who are not familiar with how to work the technology,” Apryl says. “We’re always here to help.”
She says Nutmeg tries to keep its technology as user-friendly as possible.
“We’re living in a new world now,” she says. “The advantage is keeping up with it…going with the flow.”
To nominate a Person of the Week, email Nathan Hughart at n.hughart@Zip06.com.
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