The University of Pennsylvania's Penn Gazette: Alumni Profiles; September/October 2009 edition
Class of '96 | Courtney Banks C'96 vividly remembers the moment that her career path revealed itself.
"There was a mini-series on TV called The Winds of War, [based on the book] by Herman Wouk," Banks recalls, "and that was kind of it for me. I just knew that when I grew up I wanted to work with national security and the military. There were a lot of aspects of it that really, really appealed to me."
The fact that she was female when she decided to enter that traditionally male-dominated field makes her something of an anomaly even today. What makes her truly singular is that her eureka moment came when she was in the third grade.
"I think at the time  that was very rare," acknowledges Banks. "Now, post-9/11, there are so many role models—you have Condi Rice, and Madeleine Albright, and Fran Townshend, and women who are four-star generals, so it's less rare."