I talked to Angie Walsh, she used to be the IT Academy Teacher, that my little sister had. She now works as a CRM systems administrator at Cetera. This means that she takes care of the customer relationship management system. This is a system that allows the handling of sales, customer service, finance and accounting. Some our her activities within this system are making changes to forms, writing reports, fixing data errors, applying patches, upgrading, writing interfaces to other systems, handling security, and monitoring performance. It was interesting to find out that this system is a Microsoft product, that is housed in the cloud. It’s very cool that she gets to work directly with Microsoft to make sure their system is functioning correctly. This also peaks my interest of cloud computing and it will be something to look into.
Hearing about Mrs.Walsh’s career path was insightful. She started with a bachelor’s degree of computer information systems. She started work as a computer programmer and then quickly got the opportunity to be a database administrator. She continued this job for about 13 years and then decided to stay home to raise kids for a bit. Then she took a technology teaching job in Dublin and continued for 9 years, evening going back to get a Masters in education. Finally, she got offered her current job because she had students there for internships.
It was nice to see that she was able to do so many jobs and even take time to raise a family. This is important for me because I hope to have many jobs in my career and to possibly go to teaching as well. Mrs.Walsh also talked about how her current job is similar to her job as a database administrator. The software and databases have changes some but the concepts and actually work is about the same. This is important to me to hear because the concepts I will learn through my Computer Science degree will be the same concepts used in most of my jobs.
Angie Walsh also gave me some general advice. The first was to explore all the different career paths and job opportunities out there, from security to business analysts there is much that can be done with a Computer Science degree. The next advice is that as a female is the tech industry I shouldn’t let anyone intimidate me. I should understand that I am smart and capable. She also suggests that I find opportunities to job shadow. This would allow me to understand what aspect of technology I want to pursue and also how different companies work. I will definitely try to implement this advice, as finding what and where I want to work can seem daunting. The finally advice was to find a mentor, a female in the field who is a similar aspect of technology as me and can help guide me.
Overall talking to Angie Walsh was very helpful, I don’t think I have talked to a female working in technology. It was nice to get her point of view, especially her career path that is long and winding, that includes many accepts that I want out of my path including family and teaching. Her advice is insightful and I will try to implement as much as possible into my career and life.
Understanding My Passions and Making It Through College Classes
My transition into college has been difficult. I knew that I am feel disconnected to the campus life because I was commuting but I never thought that academics would be very hard. I was a great student in high school and most topics came naturally to me, other then writing and English. I thought my classes would be easy and enjoyable. The first weeks of schools were academically easy, the pace of the class was manage and I already knew some of the material. However, after the first few weeks of school I started to feel unconnected to some of the curriculum and felt as if I didn’t belong in the subjects I once enjoyed.
This feeling was strongest for my Physics class. The first few chapters of material was review from my high school Physics class and the class was very easy. However, the course quickly moved to topics I was unfamiliar was. I was unprepared for the complexity of the topics and started to lose interest in the material and my grade started to slip. I felt unmotivated to complete homework assignments to the best of my ability and even skipped a few lectures. I knew that I needed to try harder but need still needed that spark of interest and passion.
This spark came after a few amazing demonstrations by my Physics professor. In the video above my professor Jesse Martin is demonstrating how two identical balls can reach the end of a ramp at different times, given different paths. This is because the ball that has a dip in it’s path has more of it’s energy convents to kinetic during the dip and therefore has a greater overall velocity on the path. This was just one of many demonstrations that related the Physics I was learning to a real life event. This was the spark I needed. I was interested in physics again because I understood what I was solving and the concepts suddenly felt less foreign. Currently, I am working hard to rise my grade in Physics and understand all the material by asking questions and studying more. I now stay after class to clarify any confusing ideas and I review the textbook more often in order to improve my understanding of topics.
This experience allowed me to realize that I do belong in Math and Physics, because I enjoy critical thinking and problem solving. I also realized that just because I enjoy something doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be confused by a topic or feel burned out sometimes. When I start to feel burned out or confused, I need to take extra steps to completely understand the concepts. Overall I am happy that I had this stressful experience because I now have the skills to overcome difficult class topics. Also I reconfirmed my passion for Math, Physics and Engineering. I can look to my future knowing that I still exploring my future career but I already know that my future will involve STEM, and focus particularly on my love of Math.
First Trip with WOW!
I was given the opportunity to volunteer as a part of STEM EE Scholars, with Wonders of Our World. WOW is a 14 year program that takes OSU students to teach at Columbus City elementary schools. So far I have gone on two trips to Salem Elementary. Both trips were exciting and inspiring. I traveled with 4 other students to the school to teach the students about the scientific method. The first lesson was creating a boat out of clay that could hold the most marbles. I thought I was prepared to lead my small group of 3 students but keeping the attention of the young students was difficult. One of the students didn’t want to participate in the experiment, another wanted to play in the water instead of creating boats. Thankful I had the help of Jessica Caton the coordinator for WOW. She was able to help focus the students on the task at hand.
Through this trip I learned that teaching is more than just reciting information, it is a process that takes effort and time for both parties. I already subconsciously knew this from doing experiments like this in elementary and middle school. I remember those days when school was based purely on fun and curiously, not grades and expectations. I am so grateful to past the excitement and joy for learning and discover in STEM to another generation. I can’t wait to see where my discovery with WOW will take me.