Title: Patent Examiner, Network Security & Cryptography, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
How has your Hood education benefited you?
Upon my graduation from Hood, I was fully prepared to enter the working world. I had an excellent education background that allowed me to apply for jobs in various areas. I was able to submit a résumé to prospective employers that detailed the classes I took that would assist me in my future career. Additionally, I had multiple internships that the faculty at Hood helped me find and apply to. My résumé stood out amongst my competitors, as it was diverse, meaningful and well put together.
How did your time at Hood prepare you for the future?
While at Hood, I was able to network with alums, faculty and staff. This was ultimate key to my success upon graduation. Because of the contacts I made at Hood, I was able to apply for and receive offers for multiple positions. More than half the jobs for which I interviewed were made possible because of the people I met at Hood.
What were your extracurricular experiences?
At Hood I was able to hold leadership positions: I was vice president of my class, a member of several honor societies and a leader in many student clubs. There are ample opportunities for students to shine.
Did you decide your major right away?
Coming into college, I wasn't sure what I wanted my career path to be. I began just taking classes that interested me to see if anything would spark. I took a math class with a professor who went above and beyond to engage her students. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to take more classes with that professor to see if that major was really for me. As I got deeper into the major, I realized the industry applicability and need for more graduates with degrees in mathematics. I was able to sit down with professors from the math department and discuss possible career opportunities and fields. I quickly realized that if I continued to take more classes that I enjoyed and put in the hard work, I would be able to major in a field that many are too afraid to undertake and upon graduation I would be able to market myself as a student with a "degree in learning," which is absolutely true of the math major.
What is your favorite memory of Hood?
The best memory is going to late-night breakfast with my roommates. Here we had the chance to enjoy one last "hoorah" before exam week and de-stress before the copious amounts of studying began the following day. Besides, who wouldn't want to be served breakfast by the president of the College and dean of students?!
Who were your mentors at Hood?
I had several mentors. I was so fortunate to have the help and guidance of three very important people. Susan Erb in financial aid always made sure I had my documents in place so I could qualify for student grants and scholarships. Without her, I would not have been able to afford to come to Hood. She also recommended me to a wonderful internship, where I met a Hood alum who graduated two years before I did. Lisa Lewis guided me through the majority of my college years with advice on classes to take, jobs to apply for and events to attend. I was able to secure a job in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with her help. Lastly, Nancy Hennessey, a career counselor, was a major mentor as well. She helped me polish my résumé and gave me excellent career advice. She was always there to help and support me.
What is your opinion on the value of a Hood education?
The Hood education is invaluable. There are so many things I have learned, people I have met and opportunities that I have been given upon which are impossible to place any type of standard value.
What is your opinion on the value of a liberal arts education?
I believe it creates an individual who is well equipped and ready to transition into the working world. We have the knowledge and the mindset to tackle just about any problem thrown at us and the skills and ability to convey what and how we accomplished the solution.
What would you say to students applying to Hood?
Learn as much as you can, take every opportunity given to you, create your own opportunities and never give up on your goals. Motivation and drive are inherent to all Hood students and it is not something that can be learned in the working world.
What role has your Hood education played in your career?
My education has given me the building blocks I needed to create my career in a growing field. Without my education I would not be as successful in my career today as I am.
Why did you choose to attend Hood College?
I chose Hood because I placed a huge value on the close knit community that exists there. I liked that my professors knew my name. I liked that I took classes with a lot of the same people. I liked that it's a community, not just a college. I like that the College is diverse, friendly, outgoing and most importantly, it felt like home.