- Occupation: Pharmacist
- Husband: Dwight Joseph Jones Jr.
- Child: Devin, 10
- Hobbies: Dance, Podcasting, Traveling, The Krewe of Nandi
Dr. Courtney Villere Jones is a born-and-raised, true Louisianian. Her passion for serving and teaching those around her echoes loudly into her family life each and every day. She dedicates her time to her family and her busy work schedule, constantly traveling back and forth between New Orleans and Atlanta, Georgia. As a humble and strong-willed queen (literally) she knows how to let loose and have fun through competitive dance and some oh-so-needed me time.
Dr. Jones is currently serving as the inaugural Queen of Nandi under the Krewe of Nandi, which rolls on the Westbank on February 7. As an alumna of Xavier University, she is truly dedicated to giving back to the New Orleans community through grace and dignity.
What does a normal day look like for you?
COURTNEY: Traditionally, I will get up at about 6 a.m. to get my son up and ready for school. We’ll get breakfast already. I’ll get him off to school at about 7:30. I’ll come back, and I usually pick up a coffee or something for me and my husband because we both work from home right now. I’ll take some meetings just about all day because I have project managers; I meet with trainers, data analysts, and everything for the behind-the-scenes to make my pharmacy operations center work. Usually, at about 2:30, I’m getting ready to pick up my son from school. It’s all being wife and mommy after that. So I give my son a little snack when he gets home. My husband will probably go to the gym while I’m getting dinner started. And then when homework starts at about 5 o’clock, I’ll wrap up and take care of any laundry and any cleaning around the house. By the time my husband gets back, we’re having dinner together. So I like a very traditional household. After that, once I put my son to bed, I’m all about my reality TV; it lets me get a nice escape. Other than that, it really depends on the day.
What inspired you to become a pharmacist?
COURTNEY: I’ve always wanted to go into healthcare. I think I really enjoyed my pediatrician. They made it a fun environment as a child so I wanted to take care of other small children. It was my junior year (at St. Mary’s Academy) when there was a career fair and an actual representative from Xavier University’s College of Pharmacy came to talk to my class. They explained it was a doctorate program where you’d be able to provide healthcare for your patients not even in a hospital setting, but in a community setting where you would work in the drug stores and be hands-on with your patients. I became fascinated with the chemistry of how medication works in the body rather than the hands-on side. So right then and there, I was sold that I was going to be a pharmacist. I went straight through to pharmacy school and never looked back.
What are some joys and challenges of being a mom?
COURTNEY: A joy is that [Devin] is a happy child; he’s a healthy and happy child thriving in his studies. I couldn’t be happier for what we’ve been able to provide him. The challenge is trying to maintain all of the busy schedules. Not only do I have a busy schedule, but my son has a busy schedule. I try not to be too hard on myself, and give myself grace. My husband and I both are doing the best that we can to make sure we keep him structured so that he can enjoy all of the different things that he does. But then we can also take care of the mommy and daddy things that we have as well. I think that the challenges become less challenging with a good support team though.
How would you describe your parenting style?
COURTNEY: I am very nurturing; I’m all about open communication. So what I’ve really been prioritizing is open communication with my son. I have a routine after school every day, and I’ve started this from a very young age to where he’s like, “Mommy, it’s time for the questions.” So we have the questions after school, and I’ll ask him to be in tune with his feelings because I never want him to keep anything bottled in or think he can’t talk to me or his dad about anything. With my son, I’m really big on him learning the fundamentals of being a good person, meaning we make sure to give back and donate to those less fortunate. He’s also very in tune with his Christian values, so the really big principles that we strive on are family, friends, and so forth.
What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
COURTNEY: I would say most recently: video games. I like to go with what my son is interested in at the time, and he’s interested in video games, so I show an interest in that. But it changes as my son changes with his interests and hobbies. I’m easy; I’m go-with-the-flow so we like to pick family activities. Besides traveling, we like the water parks; we like the outdoors stuff, but right now, it’s wintertime, so it’s the video games.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
COURTNEY: I think it’s because I’m a Virgo, so I’m organized. I am all about calendars, schedules, and lists on top of lists. And I think because I’m involved in so much, that’s the only way I can get it all done; I like to be very structured. If there’s a wrench that’s thrown in there, I’m adaptable. I work my schedule around my family, so family becomes a priority. Family is always the priority. I think that if I were to do the opposite, I would lose sight of what the priority is, and then my family would be neglected. It’s all about prioritizing. And I think that helps me in business and at home. When I prioritize what needs to happen first, second, and third. And then if it doesn’t get done, I push it out. As long as family is first, I can get the rest done.
Do you have any advice for other parents?
COURTNEY: Give yourself grace. Be very patient with yourself. No one is going to know everything and get it done perfectly the first time. It’s about trial and error; as long as you’re doing your best and keeping your family first, your children’s well-being, safety, and health first and foremost, everything else will fall into place. There are going to be some hard days, so make sure to stay close with your support team. If you don’t have one, there are multiple parenting groups out there that can help you. Have an outlet for yourself and make sure to maintain self-care for yourself because if you are not centered and in good mental health, you are going to be no good to your children or to your family. You are doing a great job and tell yourself that every day.
Do you have any advice for aspiring pharmacists?
COURTNEY: I would say do your research first. There are so many areas, not only in health care and in medicine, but pharmacy alone has so many different types of pharmacy. If you become a pharmacist, do your research on what area is most suited for you. Study what types of medications are in the hospital versus the community to see which ones you’re more interested in. You can also join organizations. Even if in school, there’s the American Pharmacists Association, and there is the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. So there’s a lot of information out there. Listen to podcasts (such as mine: 3 Friends TALK) where we talk about so many different, non-traditional roles in pharmacy that can help to broaden your aspect. But pharmacy can also be just the starting point, the foundation of what you want to become.
What does community involvement mean to you?
COURTNEY: It really warms my heart; I am elated. I’m overwhelmed with joy to be in a position to give back because everyone has challenges. I’m very blessed, and I feel honored and humbled to be able to give back when I can. Being a part of this Mardi Gras organization is actually at the core of my principles and values that I have for myself. We are all about sisterhood and community service. Not only my Krewe, but two other Krewes in the Marrero area have really made it possible to bring back community service into that area where it was long ago. It warms my heart that I’m able to give back on many different platforms for many different communities, not only in New Orleans but in Atlanta as well. You know, we have to make it tangible not only for our immediate families but for the children who we’re giving back so they will then know the value of what they received. When they grow up, they’ll learn to give back as well so that we continue the cycle.
- Favorite date night……………….…………………………………..……….going out to eat
- Favorite food………………….……………………………………………..…..gumbo
- Favorite holiday…………………………………………………………………Mardi Gras
- The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning……….go into my powder room and splash water on my face