3.) What obstacles have you overcome in your career/college journey?
My first year in college I took my first programming class which was “Introduction to Computer Programming in C++”. After the first couple of weeks I swore I would never be a programmer because I wasn’t doing well in the course. Everything had to be coded in Vi editor which I had never heard of nor used. As a result, I struggled to follow along in class because I didn't’ know the commands. Most of the other students in class were also struggling. Fortunately mid-semester something clicked and I thought to myself this can’t be this hard. So I found an article online to help me understand Vi and basically checked out in class lectures (I had no idea what the professor was talking about) and read each assigned chapter in book and completed as many exercises I could, as well finding other resources on C++ online on my own. By the end of class I an A! So began my love for programming! From that experience I learned to always seek multiple sources of knowledge when trying to understand new concepts and not to put the burden of me learning on someone else’s ability to teach. In this field you have to have learn how to teach yourself to be successful.
As far as my career journey I’ve been professionally programming since 2001 and have continued to learn and grow. I’m still super excited about computer science and technology in general. Four years ago I entered the world of IS leadership. It’s challenging and of course I miss programming. In addition, In hindsight I think I could have really benefited from having mentors in the field, especially women of color to help be navigate my career.
1.) What is your chosen STEM field?
Management Information Systems / Computer Science. Professionally my focus has been on supporting Financial and Human Capital Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) Systems. I’m also interested in Web and Mobile Application Development.
2.) Why did you choose this field?
All through high school I knew I would go to college and “be a businesswoman”. This was literally the phrase I would say to myself in my head. Luckily in my senior year of high school my mother was wrapping up her degree in Management Information Systems and I was able to attend one of her classes. To my surprise I was actually able to follow along and understand what the professor was teaching. So I thought if my mom could do it so could I, even though I had never programmed before.