December 13, 2007Her job: Principle Lead Member of Technical Staff, at&t
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
I have 20 years of professional experience with almost 5 years as a working mother. I am currently working in a project management and systens engineering support role for data mining applications at at&t Labs as a Principal Technical Staff Manager. I've been involved in metrics development, "Voice of the Customer" methodologies, the front end of systems engineering, and new product and service realization processes.
Why did you choose engineering?
My strong interest in mathematics and science and encouragement from college professors led me to choose a career in engineering.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
I attended the State University of New York at Binghamton, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Math, Computer Science, and Spanish Literature and Language. While working at AT&T Bell Labs as a software engineer, I attended Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and obtained my master's degree in Computer Science. In continuing my education, I obtained an AT&T sponsored MBA certificate from Wharton University and a masters certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.
What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
After graduating SUNY, I was hired by Northrop Grumman, where I developed software systems for military aircrafts. Next, I took a position with AT&T Bell Labs as a software engineer. I was involved with projects having to do with data communications equipment, an optical character reader for automated mail sorting for the US Postal Service, and Fixed Wireless. I enjoyed first tier systems engineering work at the customer interface and high-level software design, which led me to pursue a position in process engineering. In this engineering field, I applied the same engineering techniques to more business-oriented applications, such as sales, provisioning, maintenance, billing, and other business operations, with the goal of bringing new offers into service and reducing costs by creating efficient work processes. I am currently working in a project management and systems engineering support role for data mining applications.
What do you like best about being an engineer?
I enjoy the challenge of figuring out the technical issues and creating something of value to the organization and forming high performing teams. I also enjoyed the continuous learning and variety of work projects AT&T Bell Labs had to offered.
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
I am most proud of my process engineering patent (pending) application and for the work I did as co-chairperson of a volunteer program called the Systems Engineering Talks Program (SETP), where we mentored and encourage women and minorities to pursue careers in systems engineering and linked students with AT&T's summer internship and full time employment programs.
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
The biggest challenge I've found is promoting myself and getting recognition my work.
Please tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I have been married for 20 years and have two daughters, 4.5 and 1.5 years old. My husband is a chiropractor and we try to live a holistic lifestyle. I have two sisters who both have successful careers and family's of their own.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
My short term goal is to successfully continue my career, continue my music studies and raise my children. Long term, I would like to travel and learn about other cultures and join another rock-n-roll band.
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
Family, my professors at college and my Mentor at Northrup Grumman.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
My advice is to clearly identify your priorities and goals, and use your time to create a rewarding life.
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
Now having two young children I have less time for personal interests outside of my work, and spend my free time supporting my children’s curiosity and learning. I try to find time to expose the children to music and played guitar and violin in a rock band until having my second child. I still enjoy weightlifting, spinning, aerobics and skiing, wine-making and learning romance languages.