How many years have you been in tech?
I have worked for Technology Companies for 6 1/2 years., Four of those years I was in a contributing technology role.
Tell me about your background. What were your early years like?
My early years, I grew up in a small town in central Illinois with my parents and older sister. I had a really great childhood. My sister is two years older then me and best of friends (Well most of the time). Our childhood was full of imagination, barbies and American girl dolls. If we were not inside we were rollerblading, bike riding or playing town. My sister and I were very lucky to be raised to be strong willed women. That breaking the glass ceiling can be done. Our parents challenged us to be the best we can be, that giving up was not an option. They supported us to take the challenges and that they would be right there along the way.
How were you exposed to tech?
I fell upon tech industry out of sheer luck, someone upstairs was looking out for me! After I graduated college in 2010 jobs were hard to come by especially with a degree in Public Relations. To make ends meet I started with a temp agency, after a few months of going to simply horrific companies I was assigned to Asynchrony for two weeks. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the atmosphere, people and way of thinking. Right before my time was up they offered me a full time position in the HR department. Over the next year I soaked up all the knowledge I could get, any downtime I had I tried to immerse myself in the Agile culture. One of my favorite memories of this is when the development team that sat near me would be short a pair, I would come sit with them and as they ran tests I would be in charge of telling him when they turned red! It seems so silly now but it was my first glimpse!
What is your current role?
IT Program Manager at World Wide Technology
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is being where I am today. My life could have turned out very differently if I didn’t stay persistent on my goals. When I was sophomore in college I found out I was pregnant with my son Chace. But this was not going to stop be from becoming educated. I worked really hard and kept my graduation on schedule and graduated in 4 years.
What are you learning right now?
A new role: A few weeks ago I took a new position as an IT Program Manger. Not only did I return to the “IT World” but at a new company. Everyone does things different, therefore I am figuring out how its done here.
What was the last fear that you faced? How did you feel after you conquered it?
My previous manager always gave me the feedback that I needed to take more risks. I am not very good at stepping out of my comfort zone professionally. That was put to the test in December when I was approached about returning to IT. As you all know from above I took the job and am loving the decision I made!
What advice do you wish someone had given to you? What advice would you give to others starting out?
I am very fortunate to have an amazing support system who has given me great advice along my journey. I owe this all to my family as well as I have a mentor that I met my first weeks at Asynchrony who still guides me through life today. Recently, I have had a manager and co-workers who I go to all types of advice. I honestly do not know where I would be without every single one of them! With that being said the advice I would give someone starting out is to surround yourself with people you trust and can have honest conversations with.
What are your hobbies?
I always hated this question due to the fact I am not a hobbies kind of person.
What do you like about St. Louis? The midwest? Why do you live here?
I grew up in Central Illinois, I moved closer to St. Louis to go to college. I live here because I just haven’t left yet. I like my job, friends and town I live in. But I wont be here forever. One day I will move to somewhere I can get better seafood.