Anchors Aweigh

May 9, 2013 | Comments Off on Anchors Aweigh | Seasonal Updates

I didn’t realize it would be a full semester before I wrote on this blog again when I wrote my last post, A Semester Away. Now, as I write a follow-up post (inspired, in part, by this wonderful blog post by Ashleigh Baker – Simple Stories [An Invitation to Old-Fashioned Blogging], which I found through a post on Beautiful Song), I am about to enter an entirely new season, and much has changed.

At the time of my previous post, I was 5 months away from graduating, nearly to the day. Now I’m only 9 days away. My orange tassel, honor cord, and cap and gown are all ready to go.

As I mentioned I might, I chose a “light” semester of 12 hours (that included a programming class, senior design project, thermodynamics, and electronic circuits 2). It’s gone well, I’ve learned a lot, enjoyed my classes, as usual, and am just a paper, program, and three finals away from the finish line.

A couple weeks after I mentioned job options I was considering, I chose to sign with Garmin as a Software Engineer in their Aviation department, which also means moving to Kansas City. I don’t start till July, allowing me to take time to graduate, move, get situated, and hopefully do some travel before settling into my new position. It’s still all going by very quickly. The past five months have zoomed by, taking me past multiple milestones, allowing me to travel to KC and TX, and filling my memory banks with places, people, and experiences I’ll remember for a long, long time.

I regret that I can’t be in two places and do two things at once, as I love my current job and colleagues as well. Our team has grown, and we’re working on important and exciting projects. Part of my task in this transition phase is to train the intern who will replace me, a job I take seriously, and enjoy. Both my former and current boss have been great to work for, and it has been a win-win situation I believe for all concerned. I’m blessed to share lunches and life with my colleagues, in addition to my work time, and they’ve thoughtfully planned a going-away party for me (yay!).

I’ve decided with the learning curve of a new job and the newness of living on my own and in a new place, I’ll not start a grad program this fall. I do hope to potentially start one next spring, however, in electrical or computer engineering…or possibly another related field (or an MBA). I’m still doing very occasional marketing and social media work for my blueberry farm client, and will probably be expanding my efforts for another related company of his once I finish up with school.

As I look ahead, I’m excited about getting involved in the tech/startup/IT/maker community of KC, embarking on new adventures as a young professional (already purchased my season tickets to the KC Symphony!), decorating my own place, and always, always continuing to learn and develop new and existing skills.

Thanks for reading…anchors aweigh!


Milestones: New Half of the Year

July 2, 2012 | Comments Off on Milestones: New Half of the Year | Seasonal Updates

Milestones like New Year’s Day can seem arbitrary, but sometimes I find them helpful at the same time. They break up the routine and help you feel like you’re starting fresh. Now that we’re in July, half of the year is gone, and we’ve got just another 6 months to make the rest of the year count.

For me, that means another month and a half as a full-time intern, and then part-time work during my second-to-last semester of college before graduation.

It’s been interesting to see how opportunities have continued to open up even since obtaining my new position.

First I was invited to speak at another social media event, then told about another digital marketing position that might be open for me now or down the road if I wanted, and finally given yet another lead on the social media client front.

Ironically, having an 8-5 workweek and trying (for now at least) to keep it to that and not go into overtime, plus no longer feeling responsible to go job-hunt, means my evenings feel more free for such types of projects, which is great.

Blueberry season just wrapped up for this year, right about the time higher temperatures started forcing people back inside. And while I took a week off from posting for Numana (thanks to the gracious generosity of my social media colleague Jon), I plan to get back into crafting posts for that this week.

I had an enjoyable lunch with former colleagues, and was excited to hear of some of their recent accomplishments and the new opportunities opening up for them as well. I really like being so conveniently located for meetings with other people working in the area. Just this week I learned that a friend’s relative works in my same building.

And to wrap up, speaking of milestones, I did finally put up real pictures on Twitter and LinkedIn instead of my long-standing Washington landscape pic. I posted a blog comment today, and am hoping to be more engaged in that way too, even if it ends up being solely an evening activity for me. Have a great week!



TECT Aerospace: Engineering Solutions Intern

June 24, 2012 | Comments Off on TECT Aerospace: Engineering Solutions Intern | Seasonal Updates

This week will be my first full week in a position I just accepted at TECT Aerospace as an intern assisting the V.P. of Engineering Solutions with data collection, analysis, systems integration and optimization. I had my first day on Friday, and am looking forward to a rewarding challenge that will utilize skills from my growing background and interests in both business and engineering.

I had the opportunity to see one of our factories already in person, and we manufacture some important parts using interesting technology, which I’m excited to learn more about. It’s also a blessing that I will be able to work full-time over the summer and then work around my school schedule (I have one year left before I earn my bachelor’s degree in computer engineering) in the fall. Additionally, this job is even more conveniently located than the one I had before.

In terms of changes for my social media/marketing clients, really there are none at this point, other than being less available during business hours. For the types of industries and sizes of businesses I work with, prescheduled posts are a reasonable option (in moderation), and I can keep on top of emails and other client work in the evenings.

Finally, I’m looking into completing a practice electronics design project over the summer with a friend and the help, coaching, and resources of another friend. I have a senior design group project I’ll need to begin work on this fall for my degree, and I think I’d do well to practice and gain some of that experience beforehand so it goes smoother when it comes time for the real thing. Meanwhile, I keep learning and reading in several arenas, and am excited about where I’m headed.


The Return of Summer

June 10, 2012 | Comments Off on The Return of Summer | Seasonal Updates

The return of summer has allowed me to have increased productivity and flexibility in a number of non-or-less-academic areas (and to return to blogging in a more frequent capacity).

Blueberry (and blackberry) season is in full swing for client Chautauqua Hills Farm, and will continue for another three weeks or so. I’m thrilled to finally have the opportunity to pick some blueberries myself there this week! I was able to taste the delicious berries last year, have not yet made it out to the farm in person.

I continue to work with Numana on social media and copy writing projects and also recently took on some online shopping cart research for a client with an electronics business. It’s very energizing to me to be able to pick up new projects and learn things that will be relevant to myself and other future clients, while taking work that others find less enjoyable off their hands.

I’ve also found time for more reading, both in my field of computer engineering and without. Titles in the former arena include The Soul of a New Machine, which I highly recommend as a well-written summary from a journalist’s perspective (Tracy Kidder) of some of the early years of Data General’s work to build computers in the late 70s and early 80s, and the classic The Mythical Man-Month, by Frederick Brooks, Jr., which I’ve not yet completed.

Titles outside this genre include titles I picked up on my last trip to the business & technology section of our local public library: The Chairs Are Where the People Sit, a sort of collection of random mini-essays about life and college and how things work or should work; The End of Country, which discusses the erosion of the rural landscape both literally and figuratively, using the specific example of oil & gas developers trying to buy out portions of a northeastern Pennsylvania area found to have a large underground store of natural gas; Great by Choice, Jim Collins’ latest tome on the intersection of great, lasting quality, in this case highlighted in the space of the small business start-up culture.

But while I’ve had the opportunity to do some additional reading, and take advantage of some enjoyable summer activities like picking blueberries and going sailing, I’ve also been hard at work, not just for my current clients, but in the work called job-hunting.

Because of my background in social media and marketing, writing/editing, and my interest in technology, I have applied for technical writing positions, public relations/marketing work, and am perhaps especially interested in positions that would utilize my computer engineering studies. It’s an interesting adventure to see what’s out there and show others how my skills fit their needs. I’m looking forward to seeing how some of my current leads develop.

I had professional photos taken recently and will soon be updating my social network profile pictures in places like LinkedIn and Twitter, which I’m also excited about as another step in personalizing and developing my website and business.

I was recently able to attend a Society of Women Engineers 30th anniversary banquet for our city’s chapter, which I enjoyed greatly – if you’re reading this and are someone I met there, I’d love to hear from you.

Last but not least, it’s very good to be back here and writing again. If you have insights or questions for me, feel free to contact me or say hello on Twitter: @journeyscript.