Patrick Burke’s career journey had been a winding path. Bouncing from job to job to make ends meet, he went from working at a pet fulfillment center to becoming a commercial driver and later a warehouse manager. In January 2023, he stumbled upon an online ad for the BankWork$ Fundamentals program. Although Patrick was intrigued by the idea of working at a bank, he was worried about who would be willing to train him at his age. However, after a personal phone call from instructor Tanya Bashor, he was convinced to take a chance on the program.
With no prior knowledge of the financial services industry, Patrick was concerned about learning the ins and outs of banking. “Before this class, I had never owned a professional outfit, and I’m thankful this class taught me how to dress professionally and present myself in an interview,” said Patrick. “I was nervous but excited. I had to learn various banking terms and processes, which felt overwhelming at first. But I persevered, and slowly, things started making sense. Banking was a new world for me, but I was able to find connections to all of my previous experiences, especially in customer service.”
Tanya Bashor, Patrick’s instructor, spoke highly of him, noting his remarkable determination throughout the application process. “Patrick was very communicative about his concerns, but he always approached it with a growth mindset. He knew that this change in his career could positively impact his earning capacity in the future and set him on a path to a new career,” said Tanya.
After graduating from BankWork$ Fundamentals in June 2023, Patrick was hired by First Commonwealth Bank and began his new role as a Financial Solutions Specialist in July. He shared, “When I started handling transactions, I could recall lessons I learned from class. On days when I’m not busy, I always try to learn something new. There have been a couple of times when I’m sitting in the bank, looking out the window, where I wish I had found such an opportunity earlier in my career because I appreciate the stability and respect that come with this role. I’m a single dad with custody of my kids, and they’ve been able to witness my journey and feel proud of my accomplishments. They got to see me go through the program, and I’m so much happier knowing I made the right choice.”
When asked for advice for someone in a similar situation, Patrick emphasized the importance of making a list of career options and realistically evaluating each one. He recommended the BankWork$ Fundamentals program as an excellent entry point into the banking industry, highlighting the potential for growth and job security.