WOW! It's been a long time since I've reminisced on my "former life" in corporate land. But I was recently reminded that it was not all stress and politics and pressure and achievement and ladders.
It was also friendships, growth, variety, experience, and camaraderie. It was special. And it made me who I am today.
The picture above is of me graduating from the Manufacturing Leadership Program of Goodrich Aerospace. I'm being handed a lovely plaque by the amazing, indomitable Helen Goldson. You likely don't know her, but she is an incredible human being. A beacon of light and a stalwart example of perseverance. I feel privileged to know her.
In this post, I'm going to take a trip down memory lane and walk through my experiences. It will be a fun journey, so hang on for the ride!
I was ALWAYS an academic. From my earliest age, I loved and thrived on learning. I was writing books in kindergarten. Legit. I learned how to spell "written and illustrated" at age 6. The principle of my school kept several of my "works" because he believed I'd someday be an accomplished author.
Through grade school, I used my intelligence to its full extent, wracking up straight A's, competing in math leagues and knowledge bowls, and taking several college courses as a high school student. I graduated high school with a 4.0 and a fair amount of college credits. Needless to say, I was a quiet, introverted nerd. But I was driven!
My dad encouraged me, with my affinity for math and science, to become an engineer. I was accepted to Rice, Cornell, Purdue, and a few others, but I chose to remain in-state and attended the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. After one semester with a Materials Science major, I quickly adopted the chosen major of my dorm roommate - Mechanical Engineering.
From there it was nose to the grindstone, both academically and workwise. I knew that accomplishment to a potential employer meant work experience. I also wanted to see what it was like to "try on" different jobs. I wanted to be prepared for graduation, as fully as possible.