It took awhile for Tom Morrison to figure out what he really wanted to do in his life.
The Wichita native was recently promoted at Intrust Bank to division director, overseeing several of the $4 billion bank’s departments, including operations and technology.
Morrison, 45, joined the bank in 1999 after working as a computer science teacher at Wichita Collegiate School.
He earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Chicago and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
His path to Intrust started after a chance meeting with Steve Hipp, the man he replaced as division director. Hipp retired earlier this year.
Q. 1 What were you originally planning to do with your law degree?
A. I think like a lot of people my age at that time, I chose law school because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do and probably the closest thing at that age, 21, 22, I thought what I might actually do with my law degree would be an attorney at a law firm, probably (practicing) business, corporate law. It was about halfway through law school that I pretty much decided I wasn’t going to practice when I was done.
Q. 2 Why?
A. I don’t know if it’s the tech side of me or maybe it’s the operational side of me, but I prefer to see things get done more rapidly … perhaps the legal profession doesn’t quite operate at the same pace.
Q. 3 How did you make the leap from computer science teacher to banker?
A. One of the people that I met while at Collegiate was the gentleman who became my boss and mentor. Steve is also an attorney, and Steve and I were at the same CLE, continuing legal ed event. We were having lunch and just got to talking about what was going on and things in the future. I had already had a good, good friend of mine say earlier in the year, “You know you really ought to look at something else, look at doing something different.” And that piece of advice from my good friend combined with Steve … made me kind of look around and see what might be out there.
Q. 4 What was your first job at Intrust?
A. I was asked to start up the PC support help desk.
Q. 5 What’s the next big thing in banking technology?
A. I have a hunch that we are going to make some big strides in mobile payments. I think there’s going to be something in mobile payments that resonates with customers … here’s how I use my phone instead of other forms of payment.