There’s nothing like family in Client Experience Operations!
Erica Tatum3-Minute Read
PUBLISHED: February 23, 2022
Erica Tatum, a Director of Client Experience Operations shares her journey to Rocket Mortgage® and stories from her time helping our clients achieve their dreams of homeownership.
A Little About Me
My name is Erica Tatum. I grew up in Ypsilanti, Michigan and now reside in the wonderful city of Detroit. My life is busy as I'm a wife to my best friend for 17 ½ years and a mother of two wonderful teenagers, Emmanuel and Kyndall.
Life has kicked into high-speed and I can’t believe that I have a teenager and a high school graduate this year! This tells me that every moment of life must be cherished to the fullest because it doesn’t slow down for anyone.
I’m a high school graduate from Willow Run High School, class of 1997. After high school, I pursued my passion for doing hair and attended cosmetology school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Cosmetology courses were completed with the state exam taken but I missed passing by seven points! Yes, this disappointed me, but it pushed me to continue my journey of learning.
Learning is always a skill you can master to add additional tools under your belt so disappointment couldn’t stop me. I continued my education at Washtenaw Community College and completed some college courses in business management. My all-time dream was to own my own salon; I had blueprints laid out and was going to name it Unique Salon. Who knew that the blueprint I had for a salon would guide me to our amazing company, Rocket Mortgage?
My Journey To Rocket Mortgage
Before applying, I had heard a lot of things about Rocket Mortgage, which didn’t turn out to be true. I’d heard, “You will never be able to get into that company because you don’t have a degree or banking background.” People will always find a way to distract you or convince you that the decision you are making isn’t the right choice. I was making my choice, so I leaped and applied for a position.
My path at Rocket Mortgage started in July 2013 as a Client Care Specialist (CCS) in refi communications. As a CCS, I had no clue what a mortgage was. Of course, I knew I had to pay a mortgage, but I didn’t understand the key elements that went into the process, underwriting and product guidelines. With a willingness to learn and develop, I started to enjoy what I was doing and stayed in refi communications for 2 years.
After that, purchase communications became my new home. Purchase communications is so rewarding because you speak with clients who are ready for a home or wanting to start a new chapter of their life and we help them accomplish that goal.
I’ve been with our Client Experience Operations team for 6 years and wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world. I remember coming over to purchase scared, lacking confidence and afraid this was the end of my career if I messed up, but those fears turned out to be what pushed me to become an even better team member.
One thing I can confirm is that Client Experience Operations is family! There was a time when I felt like I wanted to throw in the towel because outside life happened to me and was flowing over into my daily work. Outside emotions created an environment of stress and uncertainty and I was struggling in my role. I’m so grateful that I have friends and great leadership to help me realize that failing and being imperfect was okay! It happens, but you can’t permit yourself to stay there. You learn from it and develop so you can implement the tactics that you are given to help.
How Client Experience Is Different
Our culture in Client Experience Operations is all about helping you grow as a person and within your role. The care that is displayed amongst each person is something that can’t be replicated. Of course, every stage of your life isn’t going to be easy, but it’s how you come out at the end that counts. Today, I am an Operations Director of Purchase Communication because I didn’t give up. My future journey is to continue developing as a director, blossom into a better person and keep impacting people's lives.
Advice For Every Job Seeker
Some advice I want to leave you with is to experience the journey for yourself. Never let someone else derail you from stepping into a great opportunity. Be open to learning, developing and conquering your fears no matter what. If I would’ve given up and didn’t push myself, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
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