(This week The Columbian-Progress spotlights Citizens Bank Marketing Administrative Assistant Brook McKenzie.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born in Hattiesburg Sept. 13, 1994.
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: I went to Columbia Academy and graduated from there in 2013. Then I went to Pearl River Community College and graduated from the University of Mobile in 2017.
Q: Where do you work? Tell us about your job/company.
A: I’m a marketing administrative assistant at Citizens Bank. I do anything from decorating different lobbies at different branches that we have to checking logos. My job is pretty much anything to do with the image of the bank, any advertising or marketing. It’s a wide variety of tasks and duties. It’s something different every day and fun.
Q: What led you to your profession?
A: When I was in college, starting my sophomore year, I would come home in the summers and started working as a teller so I got introduced to the banking industry. Then when I graduated I moved back home, and there was a spot open in the marketing field and my degree is in communications. So I knew this is exactly where I was supposed to be.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: It’s the people. The people I work with have become like a family to me. They genuinely care about my life outside of these walls, and we’re just here for each other and here to build each other up.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
A: Probably just balancing many different projects at one time and being able to flexible and go from one job to the other meeting deadlines.
Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career?
A: Treating people with respect and working as a team. I played sports my whole life, and I’ve realized that carries over with all of the teamwork and respect you have for each other. Working together and building each other up, it just helps it go by easier if you just all work together.
Q: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a famous singer. I’m able to sing in different churches, and I just realized that I would rather use my gifts and talents that God has given me to serve him. If that leads to a bigger platform than a church then that would be it, but right now I like to serve in churches.
Q: What was your first job?
A: I was babysitter through junior high and high school during the summers, and my freshman year of college I worked at Dazzle Boutique and Hair Salon on Second Street.
Q: Who is the person who has been most influential in your life?
A: My mom, Millie McKenzie, is the strongest person I know. She’s been a caretaker for my dad, Nate, who had a double lung transplant in 2000. All of the different challenges that she’s been through with his health, she never let it affect anything. She was still wanting to help and encourage others. My brother, Luke, and I had the most normal childhood even though my dad has been sick since Luke was born and I was 4 years old. She’s just a strong Christian woman, and I hope to be just like her.
Q: What is your spouse’s name?
A: I’m getting married to Sam Robbins Nov. 23 of this year.
Q: If you could have anything for your last meal on earth, what would it be?
A: I’m eating my uncle Brandon’s boiled crawfish and Sam’s ribeye.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I would love to go to Hawaii for about a month and just stay there. I know if I went I wouldn’t want to leave for a little while.
Q: What hobbies do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I really love to just hang out with family and friends, whether that’s going to my brother’s or my cousin’s sports events, I love just hanging out with them. I have a newborn nephew, Bo McKenzie, and a newborn niece, Vivian Thornhill, and that’s my new favorite thing to do is spend time with them.
Q: What do you enjoy about Columbia and Marion County?
A: I love just the small-town community but also the big hearts that are in Columbia. I’ve seen Columbia and Marion County, when one family is going through something, just rally together to take care of them and help them get through hard times. I also love being able to walk around and seeing people that I know. I grew up here so I know everyone. I left and lived in Mobile for two-and-a-half years, and throughout high school I always said I have to get out of Columbia. But after leaving for that long, this was the only place I wanted to come back to. The people and the love, I think it all roots back to the Christian foundation that has been set here.
Q: If you could have lunch with anyone from your life or history, who would it be and why?
A: My aunts, Doris Ramshur and Barbara Taylor. They passed away when I was really young so I never got to know them, but I’ve so many stories about them throughout my whole life about how fun and strong women they were. I would love to just sit down and hear their stories and have them tell me about their lives.
Q: If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do all day?
A: I would want to help young girls and try to build them up. There’s a lot of girls that go through so much and grow up and don’t have confidence and don’t feel like they’re loved at all. I would love to just be able to tell them how loved they are by Christ. I would definitely want to do something with music also.
Q: What moment in your life has had the biggest impact on who you are today?
A: I was saved when I was 5 years old and that was a huge moment for me, but really the day when I truly realized what it means to be a Christian and living that every day. That was the day I realized I wanted to be a strong Christian woman, and that’s what I wanted to be known for.
Q: Using one word for each, what are your top three morals?
A: Faithful, kind and loving.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: I would like to be remembered as someone who loved how Christ loved no matter what the situation is and that helped people. I sit in the corner near the front door and people walk in every day, and I try to just make it a mission for me to greet everyone with a smile and ask them how they’re doing because you never know what they’ve been going through all day. If they need a smile that day, I would love to give them that smile and maybe that could change their outlook for the rest of the day.
— Joshua Campbell
Pictured Above: Citizens Bank Marketing Administrative Assistant Brook McKenzie started working for the branch during college and realized upon graduating it was where she was meant to be. | Photo by Joshua Campbell