A stalactite at Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
My resume and other information about me is available at http://janinewhite.com. In grade school, I was an A student and took some early computer courses. I was in the first PASCAL AP class that was offered. For college, I was initially accepted to an Ivy League school. I started out in Engineering in college, but failed out due to too much partying and not enough studying. I went a little wild when I was first out on my own. With the ongoing support of my parents, I went back to school at a community college, earning an AA in Humanities with a concentration in Women’s Studies. It was a very nurturing environment and I regained my confidence in my academic skills. Then, I transferred to a private university where I initially was enrolled for Architecture and Sociology and graduated with a BA in Sociology. I immediately went on to earn an MA with specializations in Criminology and Analytical Methods in a top ten Sociology Ph.D. I decided that I didn’t want to be a Professor, so I left school and worked in research and evaluation of rape and domestic violence programs for 4 years. I developed software for the agencies to support their objectives based on my evaluations of their programs and provided ongoing support. I also used technology to automate my own job to make it easier. I came to my current company as an Automation Engineer where I was responsible for most of the applications that run factories. I am now a Project Manager in the same department I started in. I also have a consulting company with my husband, working with financial institutions in fraud and robbery prevention and compliance.
Some points for the kids:
- Understanding technology is important in nearly all walks of life today. Even if your job is not in IT, having computer skills can make your job easier and give you an advantage over others.
- Hard work is recognized. When I partied too much, I had some fun, but I lost my way in the larger goals in my life. When I apply myself, I excel and I am recognized.
- Don’t give up. An initial setback doesn’t mean that you have to give up. Eiffel also failed out of Engineering, but went on to build one of the most famous landmarks in the world. I generally enjoy my job because it is intellectually challenging and well paid. Even on my worst day on the job, I can still smile that I am an Engineer despite initially failing out.
- Find the path that is right for you. If you know what you want to do, great! Go for it. If you’re not sure, keep working on your education, taking classes from a variety of majors, and take on other opportunities, like temp work, internships, volunteering and entrepreneurship. Most students change majors in college and everyone struggles with something in their life. Keep searching until you find a profession that you enjoy because your life will be much more fun and fulfilling doing something that you like.
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View all of my photos at Flickr.