"How I Went from" is an ongoing blog series that highlights our employees' different journeys to InterWorks. The results are pretty diverse, but each story is special in its own right.
If all the world is a stage, I’ve played a few roles in my day. From landscaper to diamontologist, analyst to youth pastor, I guess you could relate my journey to InterWorks with roles Johnny Depp has played. Since he’s one of my favorite actors in some of my favorite movies, it seems only appropriate.
My story is only part of our latest blog series, “How I Went from _____ to InterWorks Consultant.” Check out the original “Life as InterWorks Consultant” post for more info on what it’s like to work for InterWorks as well as links to other employees’ stories.
Starting Out as High School Landscaper
Everything that I have done in my life has prepared me to succeed as a consultant at InterWorks. It all started back in high school. I was 16, standing underneath the hot Oklahoma sun, wiping sweat off my brow and surveying my first potential client’s property. The smell of dirt and freshly cut grass had taken over, and I was probably drinking a Mountain Dew. I was a young entrepreneur. Little did I know that pint-sized business would allow me to save enough money to purchase a house when I moved out of my parent’s house right after high school. The experiences of starting this business weaved their way into my future.
Mall Madness and Jewelry Sales
When I segued from small business owner into the world of retail mall jewelry sales during college, I was not prepared for the madness that ensued. Malls are crazy, especially at Christmas when everyone comes out of the woodwork. It reminded me of the movie “Cry Baby” with all the irreplaceable characters that I will never be able to remove from my memory. My wife and I both worked at the mall. The conversations on the way home each night gave us the laughs we needed to push through our 14-hour days, only to go home and cram for exams.
The Switch to Banking, Even More Madness
I then transitioned from mall retail into banking, where I started from the bottom as a teller. Learning the ins and outs of the industry, I found my place in trust securities soon after graduating from college. From managing accounts, executing mutual fund and stock trades, to setting up new investment options in our trading system internally, this position is best described with the role Johnny played as the Mad Hatter. And yes, I did look much like the picture below most days:
Transitioning to Healthcare
From banking, I transitioned to healthcare as a Reporting Analyst. My days were spent scrutinizing contracts and counteroffers, assisting in making the best decisions for our policyholders. There was nothing too exciting here except that, through this position, I found a desire for all things technical. This covered everything from SAS and computer language, to computer hardware, software and implementation. I soon discovered that the company I was working for just did not fit my personality. One day, I was given the opportunity to become a full-time youth pastor. I jumped on it.
My Stint as a Youth Pastor
As a youth pastor, you can imagine for yourself everything that’s involved. Being in church leadership though is not much different than governance in any given business venture. The main dissimilarity is that you are considering others’ spiritual well-being, rather than selling a good. Thinking of my position as a youth-pastor, I really relate to Johnny’s role as Edward Scissorhands. Edward did the best that he could, but for the good of everyone, he just couldn’t stay. It was time to move on. Again, most days looked a lot like this:
I just could not see myself in the roles I had played before. I wanted the best life for my wife and daughters, and the road we were currently on did not suit that need. It also did not fit my quest for technical knowledge, centering itself on an equilibrium of both client and employee emphasis.
Back in Business, Finding InterWorks
As I attempted to come back into the business world, I remember talking with several companies. However, the company that stood out the most was InterWorks. They worked for the best clients on the most intriguing projects, which is unlike any company that I had encountered. It was all cutting edge, and in my mind I saw the company reaching higher and higher. I can say I was not disappointed, and the company has exceeded my expectations.
Over the years here at InterWorks, as I traveled around the country being a “Tableau evangelist” trainer, I saw the team double in size and skill. Through it all, I noticed a company that has a desire to raise up their employees to be who they are, not just who the company wants them to be. They do this through placing the employees where they can prosper and excel in whatever career path they choose to take.
A Long Voyage to the Right Place
My trek to InterWorks has had a few twists and turns along the way, but each experience has molded me into the consultant that I am today. As a jewelry sales associate, I discovered the value of knowledge and that what matters most is the quality of your work, not necessarily the quantity. As a teller and Trust Security team member, I grasped how economics and the value of money work together on both an individual and corporate level. As a reporting analyst, I uncovered the appropriate way to write and execute a query and work with data. As a youth pastor, I truly understood the value of hard work and determination. I also discovered how interacting with people to find out what they need is more of an art, and not a science.
If I had to attribute a Johnny Depp role to what I do at InterWorks, I would say without any reservation that it is the role of Jack Sparrow in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It is my favorite. I wanted to see it so much, my wife and I made time to see it on our honeymoon. It’s also the role that set Mr. Depp up for success, stability and respect in his line of work for years to come.
My closest friends and coworkers will likely tell you three things about me.
- I love my Family and Faith
- I love my Oklahoma State Cowboys
- I love my company
Lastly, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow:
“You know that feeling you get when you’re standing in a high place … sudden urge to jump? … I don’t have it.”