Launching her Business Career from Career Quest Learning Centers: Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith says she’ll be president of First National Bank of America by the time she’s 40 and even her boss doesn’t quite discount the notion.

“Andrea has a very good blend of professionalism and down-to-earth qualities,” said Daniel Malcolm, Broker Acquisition Manager at First National Bank of America in East Lansing. “She’s likeable and personable, but at the same time very professional. The brokers really trust her to get the work done.”

Andrea works as a note buyer at the bank and says she loves her job.

“It’s fast-paced and exciting and competitive,” said Andrea. “This company is the best company in the world to work for.”

Andrea’s road to her dream job was hardly an easy one, though. She had started off on a more traditional route to the business world by planning to attend Spring Arbor University but says that “life got in in the way for a second.”

After the death of her brother and birth of her son, Andrea hit reboot and started on a new path with a new plan. She tried community college, but changed plans when she couldn't decide on a major. Then, she found Career Quest Learning Centers.

“Before Career Quest, I didn’t think I was intelligent,” said Andrea.

Andrea trained to become an Administrative Office Professional at Career Quest Learning Centers to learn some sort of business skills. She completed the 8 month program in June of 2013, but she already had a job at First National lined up before she graduated.

Saying that she walked into that first interview and told them, “I have no experience but I have a lot of drive,” Andrea was a little surprised that they were willing to take a chance on her. Since that first position, she’s been on a fast and furious upward trajectory. Between November 2014 and February 2015, she’s gotten three promotions.

“Every time I turned around they were offering me an even better job,” said Andrea. “It’s been kind of a whirlwind.”

Andrea is grateful for the training she received at Career Quest Learning Centers but acknowledges that she was born with a lot of tenacity and drive. She says her grandfather was an early pioneer in the computer industry and was very successful.

“I am my granddad’s granddaughter,” said Andrea. “I have big plans.”

“My parents raised us with a very strong work ethic and to always set goals,” said Andrea, “to always be working toward something.”

“Even if I don’t get all the way to president or CEO, I know I’m going to do well,” said Andrea. “I may not be book smart, but I have a hell of a lot of ambition.”

Andrea took that ambition to Career Quest Learning Centers and into her job at First National Bank. In the fall, she plans to begin studying for her bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Someday, she may even study law, says Andrea. If you’d like to launch your career in business, check out the business programs at Career Quest Learning Centers. Give us a call in Lansing at 877-481-4930 or Jackson at 877-365-8144 to learn more now.


“The instructors at Career Quest are awesome,” she said. “I couldn’t have done this on my own. They really do set you up to succeed.”


“If anyone’s looking to get into an office setting, this is a great start because you can get all those basic computer skills that employers are looking for."