by Katrina Markel
“I didn’t know that this type of position existed prior to Interface,” said Courtney, “I didn’t realize that there was project management; things that require strong communication skills. Things that I had already done.”
Courtney is a graduate of the 15-week, Full Stack Web Developer Training Course: Java. She was one of the first recipients of a scholarship offered by First National to employees who take the course.
“I wanted to take the course to basically get into the IT field,” said Courtney.
However, technology wasn’t always her focus. The Mercy High School graduate studied journalism at Creighton University. Following college she lived in Wisconsin for a year-and-a-half and worked as a Corporate Trainee for a printing company.
In 2008 Courtney met her now-husband and moved to Poland to be with him, but later that year the young couple returned to Omaha. Courtney found a job working for another major bank. That experience eventually led her to a career at First National Bank, which changed her life in ways she had not yet imagined.
One morning she attended a program called, “Breakfast with Jerry.” That’s “Jerry” as in Jerry O’Flanagan, Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer at First National. He mentioned the scholarships at the breakfast and Courtney’s interest was piqued. She had already been researching code schools and thinking about a new career in tech.
“At an appropriate time I asked him if I could ask a few more questions about the partnerships at interface,” said Courtney.
She says that she was persistent in following and pursuing the application process, but simply by asking and expressing an interest O’Flanagan was willing to help her.
Courtney noted that her manager at the time was also “supportive of me getting into a new role.”
In fact, Courtney gushes about the generosity and support she felt from the bank, but also acknowledges that some of her success is due to her own tenacity.
“I will take credit that I was the first one to ask. Nothing comes on a golden platter,” she said.
Courtney didn’t have a significant technology background when she started the class and was told that it wasn’t expected.
It was an intense and busy time. Courtney would work at the bank from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then go to class from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., three nights a week. That’s a lot for the mother of a toddler.
“Yes. It was very busy, but I have a very supportive spouse,” she said.
Front end web development was one of her favorite parts of the course. “I really loved learning HTML and CSS,” Courtney said, “Well, you see your results very quickly.”
After graduating from Interface. Courtney was able to transition into an internship in the same department where she now works.
“Taking the class definitely did open doors”, Courtney explained. While doing the internship she kept an eye on the internal job listings and eventually landed her current job.
“Because I had already been there as an intern it was nice, even as an applicant, to know that this is where I wanted to be,” she said.
She said she loves that Interface opened up a whole new circle of friends and colleagues to her. She was also able to have a completely new career experience while remaining at First National Bank.
“Who knows where I’ll go from here because I know that there’s this whole other IT side,” she said.
Courtney was recently able to update O’Flanagan on her success. She told him, “I am where I wanted to be, thanks to you.”