It is amazing to reflect on your life and see how your journey has brought you to the right place at the right time. I am a first generation college graduate. My Dad was only able to complete 8th grade before he needed to go to work to help support his family. My Mom lost her own Mom when she was 8, was raised by her immigrant single Dad and worked next to him in the fields. Although she was the salutatorian of her high school class she didn’t have the money for a dress to attend her graduation, much less to further her education. Because of all these challenges of their own, my parents made it clear that education was the key to success and that attending college would be a given for my brother and me. These were the early influences in my life that showed me education is truly critical in today’s world. We were fortunate to have access to the University of California system as both my brother and I attended UC Davis.
I look back at my college experiences and appreciate that I learned as much outside the classrooms as inside. I learned how to make college friends, scout out useful college resources, develop great study skills, navigate the student health center, pick a college major that would lead to a job, stop procrastinating and have success with college dating. I also had my fair share of college stress. I was an RA at the dorms, chaired the dedication ceremony of the new Rec Hall, worked for the Asst Chancellor and was always busy with something. But it all seemed to pay off for me in the end when I was selected as the Outstanding Woman for UCDavis my senior year.
Can you imagine how my parents felt seeing their kids graduate and position themselves for a bright future? My brother went on to become an emergency doctor, and I ultimately graduated with my MBA from UC Berkley to go on and work for 20 years as a predominate player in the semiconductor business.
During my high tech tenure, my most fulfilling job was as the program manager for our Technical Sales Engineering program. My role involved recruiting, training, mentoring and managing a revolving crop of new college engineering grads from top US universities. The timing of the job was perfect. I was managing very ambitious, successful young adults and gained intimate knowledge of their strengths, weakness, focus, confidence, happiness and potential. I knew the mistakes they had made and what critical chooses had contributed to their success. If you’re a person like me who thinks of the start with the end already in mind, this was a perfect situation. I had three young kids and I was given the perfect opportunity to see 15 years into their future when they would be entering the job market. Many of our parenting choices and actions were influenced by my experiences on that job, especially when it came to college experience. Fast forward 15 years, our kids are in work force and I am pleased to say that they have exceeded our wildest expectations for their happiness, fulfillment and success. My parents were not around to see my kids, but I know that they are smiling down with approval.
Along the journey, I have been a student of everything and anything that helped me prepare my kids for a happy, enriched and productive life. It was these passions that lead me to become a certified life coach focused on helping students and their parents navigate the college journey and beyond. I wish for them the same amazing journey and outcome that I have had the pleasure to experience. I hope that you will join me as we craft a college life journey of your dreams.