34, Treasury Services Analyst at Old Point National Bank
How do you see your generation (millennials)? How do you think older generations define millennials?
Our generation is unique in that we are more apt to have an emphasis on creating meaningful work. We are not afraid to hear “no” and tend to be more career-oriented than that of the earlier generations. We bring a new perspective with technology and social media, which goes through accelerated changes daily. I feel like older generations see us as a generation who can be easily offended, spend too much time on social media and act like we are entitled. I think that we are a generation that just wants to be heard, especially about issues that are important to us.
In what ways does having younger employees add to a company’s success?
Often when you have employees who have been with a company for a long period of time, they become complacent and have the “we have always done it that way” mentality. The younger generation can bring a fresh, new perspective and new ideas to the table. We are energetic, ready to learn and become part of the team.
What have been a few keys to your success so far?
I started in banking as a teller and was able to work my up through various positions in the bank because I set goals and showed my hard work and dedication to my departments. I had a fantastic mentor that spent a lot time with me and made it possible for me to advance in my career. I would consider myself a “go to” person, as I am a well-rounded employee with experience in many departments. I also contribute my success to creating a work/life balance. Old Point has made it possible for me to never stop learning and challenge myself on a daily basis.
Is there anything that you would change about your generation as a whole? If so, what?
No, I think that like many other generations, millennials bring a great set of traits and thoughts that make us different and unique. Our generation can offer employers advanced technological knowledge and the ability to master new skills in a creative way. These are definitely good things to navigate this world that we are helping to create and shape on a daily basis. We are also more vocal on issues such as diversity, community service, equal rights and the environment.
What do you look for in a job/company?
A company’s mission, corporate culture and flexibility. Old Point is very involved in the community that surrounds us. We are given time, from our workday, to volunteer for various community service groups, which you don’t find in every company. We pride ourselves on doing what is right for the customer, not what would better profit the bank. I have worked for larger banks and found that working at a community bank, I can express myself and ideas and really be part of a team environment versus just being a number. Flexibility is also a must. I have a very active home life with two boys, and Old Point understands that I have class parties, field trips and T-ball games that are just as important as my daily tasks at work.
What kinds of digital platforms do you feel you have benefited from in your career?
I once read that if you’re not online you do not exist. This was pretty powerful to me. At the time I was primary using Facebook and Instagram to keep up with friends and news stories. After reading that, I began using LinkedIn, which really gave me the ability to market myself and showcase my talents and interests.
What do you feel are some of the biggest perks of living in Coastal Virginia? What changes do you think the region should implement to continue to be a draw for millennials?
Living in Coastal Virginia in one word is awesome. We live where others vacation, and there is a lot to be said for that. We have the beaches, breweries, military, farmlands and an urban feel. We have a great job market and strong economy that is attractive for anyone to start their career here.
Tell us about some of your favorite ways to do worthwhile networking.
Network everywhere and anytime. You meet new people at the grocery store, restaurants, etc. Never be afraid to start talking with someone you don’t know. It can lead to great things. I don’t treat networking as something that I have to do; I make it fun. Just be natural, and others will feel the same.
How are you contributing to life/community outside of the workplace?
I am involved in community service activities through both work and my home life. I have served as board member for the Kiwanis Club of Chesapeake since 2013. I am currently a Key Club advisor for Great Bridge High School, vice president of the club and will be the president for the following year. Last summer, I helped organize our Club’s annual Float-A-Thon, which successfully raised enough funds to purchase and install a whole house generator for a child on life assistance. I am also on the committee for the Club’s signature event, the annual Shrimp Feast. I participate in volunteer opportunities at work, such as the United Way Day of Caring, fundraising for Lake Taylor Hospital Children’s Unit and Evelyn’s Wildlife Refuge.
What advice would you offer to other millennials or recent graduates about getting their careers to take off?
Show initiative, don’t be afraid to share your ideas, network, and get to know your community by joining a community service group. Never burn a bridge; you will work with or see the same professionals throughout your career, whether it be at a networking event or a new employer. Work hard; show your employer that you want to be working at your company. Always convey professionalism in everything you do.
From her nomination:
“Courtney proves that you can have both professional and personal success by creating the perfect balance between family, work and community. She volunteers, participates in clubs, goes above and beyond at work, is a very involved mother and wife, and somehow finds time to work out every single day. Within Courtney’s job she works diligently to ensure that business owners are receiving their products and services that will bring them the most success. Anyone can do a job, but it takes a very special person to impact lives, and that’s what sets Courtney apart in the business community.”
—Laura Moore, colleague