After visiting Tulsa to look into tech job opportunities, Darrell landed in a dream job as VP, Consulting Project Manager at Bank of Oklahoma.
How did you land in Tulsa?
I'm originally from New Jersey. After graduating from college, I worked for the state of Maryland as an IT program manager. I was responsible for a lot of projects, systems, upgrades and implementations. Not long ago, I connected with one of my childhood friends on Facebook, and I saw she had moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, as part of the Tulsa Remote program, and she’s been very successful. A month or two went by, and then she sent me a link about tech opportunities here. I filled that out, not thinking I would be moving to Oklahoma. But all the stars lined up, and I'm here.
How did you find your way into your current role?
It was very simple. I came on March 30 for inTulsa’s Living on Tulsa Time initiative to experience the city and explore job opportunities in tech here. I had an interview with Bank of Oklahoma around April 10, then a second interview, then an offer, within just a few days. The following week, I was here looking at apartments.
What’s a typical day in your role look like?
It is totally different than my previous roles. I come from the Public Safety and Correctional Service industry, dealing with law enforcement systems that included healthcare, drone technology, facial recognition, and various other systems. In my new role, I’m in the financial world—a whole different industry—so there is a huge learning curve with many moving parts. I work with the technical aspects of project management from an infrastructure standpoint, assisting and facilitating infrastructure initiatives. It is challenging, but I love to learn. That’s why I have three degrees, PMP certification, and CompTIA+ Security certification. It's all about constantly becoming better and better and better, so I can be a huge asset to the team.
What do you enjoy most about the company culture at Bank of Oklahoma?
BOK is one of those companies that you hear about in college. They tell you to make sure you’re in the right organization, make sure the corporate culture resonates with you. You want to be sure there’s career development where you land. BOK checks all of those boxes. It's one of the best companies I've ever worked for; I’d say it’s number one when it comes to this. Overall, the company culture is just phenomenal. It’s very collaborative,very engaging. And people here know their stuff. I'm partnered up with some great individuals within my team. If I have a question, there’s help. BOK provides so many different resources. Every day I’m gaining new knowledge.
What was it like working with inTulsa to find your new role?
I believe I was the right candidate for the need at the moment. It was very much about timing. When I came for inTulsa’s Living on Tulsa Time event, I interviewed with four different companies, and BOK was one of them. But inTulsa made those connections so simple that it didn’t even feel like a real job search.
What do you enjoy most about living in Tulsa?
The restaurants here are great. The people are super nice here and very welcoming. It’s very affordable too. No matter where you're at in the city, everything's just 15 to 20 minutes away. Living in Tulsa is a very soft life, easy-breezy compared to Baltimore and New Jersey.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Tulsa?
I play basketball and go for walks at the Gathering Place. One thing I do is I attend all the inTulsa events—they helped me land my new job, so I show up and support anything they do. I’m exploring other activities as well. Horseback riding is one thing I want to try. You know, where I'm from, we didn’t have much opportunity to do that.
What would you tell people who are thinking about moving here?
If they’re coming for info tech opportunities, there’s a lot here. There are so many organizations that need good people to do the work, so the opportunities are great. You have to be open-minded and able to step outside your comfort zone. But if you’re ready to explore your opportunities and you have credentials and IT experience, come to Tulsa. See for yourself the easy living here.