Hidden or Nah? – Rocket Scientist Realities

God bless the lovely “Colored Computers” and Hidden Figures author, Margot Lee Shetterly, for bringing to light the significance of diversity in STEM fields.  In addition to the women spotlighted in the book and movie (Katerine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan), there are so many other successful women, and I am proud to be one!

Hidden or Nah? – my group as a Test Engineer

I graduated from the University of Michigan in Aerospace Engineering with a Minor in Mathematics.  Yes, it was difficult, but I knew I could do it because people had done it before me.  I just have a problem solving kind of brain!  I always tell my students that Engineering is simply problem solving, but instead of using guess-and-check we must use math and science to prove we have the best solution!  Since seeing the movie on opening night, I wanted to share my own insight and perspective about what it’s really like to be a Hidden Figure in 2017.

Things that have changed since 1961

  1. No skirts and no pearls! Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a reality so I must wear pants everyday along with my safety glasses and steel toe shoes. (I plan to create a women’s line of steel toes!)
  2. I barely have to touch a door.  My male counterparts will stop in their tracks, reverse and re-open a door for me on the regular.
  3. My coworkers and me strive for not only diversity, but also inclusion in my African-American Employee Resource Group.
  4. Influencing skills are Imperative!  Instead of working behind the scenes, I have to be in the forefront and lead a team to improve Change Management once we arrive to a solution.
  5. My company president knows my name, and I have a private office, Boyee!

Things that haven’t changed since 1961

  1. There are still Amazing bosses that will encourage me to do better than my best!  Although unstated, “Don’t embarrass me” is not just a reflection of my manager, but also a representation of my race and gender.
  2. Restrooms are still less available for women.  My second closest bathroom in my last 2 departments is at least 100 feet farther than the second closest men’s, but it’s always empty!
  3. I have continued to hone my communication style, which is basically to let the guys talk in circles and in one sentence re-direct them to the solution. “Guys, Push the Green button.”
  4. Family and friends have No clue what I do at work, and they just call me a rocket scientist even though I work as a Sr. Quality Engineer on Oil and Gas Turbines.
  5. Strangers are continually shocked at my career as a full-time engineer, full-time MBA student, and ’emotionally full-time’ entrepreneur leading Adorn The World, LLC.

I love being an engineer.  I love being a female engineer.
I love being a black female engineer.
I am not hidden.  I was created to SHINE!

Similar to this Hidden Figures movement, I will continue to encourage underserved and underrepresented minorities to become engineers and entrepreneurs. If you still haven’t seen Hidden Figures (and heard the amazing soundtrack), RUN and go see it!

 

10 by 30 – The Good Life

My first 30 years have been amazing, but the good life is just beginning.  I’ve had some years of building and transition, but this year has been better than I ever imagined.  I did not have a 30 by 30 list of goals, but even if I did, I would have had much lower expectations.  Lucky for me, that’s right in line with my favorite scripture, Ephesians 3:20.  I often recite the affirmations below and I truly recognize Favor aint Fair!

30by30_jls

www.facebook.com/q88photography

  1. I finished my first MBA semester with a 4.0 and debt free at the perfect school.
  2. I lead women in worship and ministry.
  3. I have my dream job as a Senior Quality Engineer, and an office (haaay).
  4. I was gifted affordable housing in America’s Finest City.
  5. I have a boyfriend that shows love more than he says it.
  6. I stopped my daily allergy medicine and weekly chiropractic care for scoliosis.
  7. I have a healthy family, pup, and Thee best of friends.
  8. I am an entrepreneur that successfully launched the LLC’s first Soiree.
  9. I am a Six Sigma Black Belt.
  10. I donate, tithe, and seek ways to be giving to others.

The last time I wrote about happiness was 5 years ago before going into 25, and little did I know there was so much room for growth.  It hasn’t always been easy, and there were plenty of time conflicts, delays, and burdens along the way.  It is my prayer that the coming years are even better, with more sleep & less stress!

This is 30!

This is 30!

How do you do ALL that you do?


This is my visual response to people who asks me this question including the end.

Quick rundown of the things I have going on right now:

  • Full-time Turbine Test Engineering Career
  • S.T.E.A.M. Education business owner and entrepreneur
  • Women’s Church Ministry Leader Ages 18-35
  • Middle school girls robotics coach
  • Applying to M.B.A. programs (and GMAT Prep)
  • Meetup Social group organizer
  • Planning our first family reunion
  • Liturgical dancer
  • Styling my hair
  • Traveling Often
  • Dating for Marriage
  • Artsy fun with painting and theater
  • Re-gaining beach body fitness
  • 20s Living with my girls

ILookLikeAnEngineer

Starting this summer, I’m actively going to do better with free time.  I will be on travel most of July, so that will help me transition quite nicely.  One major time management and stress reduction technique that I use is to make a checklist everyday.  I list 2 things that I want to complete for work, and 2 things that I want to complete outside of work.  For major things that may roll over, I list them at the top of my planner page as 2 goals for the week.  Also, I can only commit to one after-work event per day, reserving one weekday as a chill day at home.

For lifestyle items, I cook 1-2 meals per week with leftovers, I clean 1-2 load of laundry per weekend start to finish, and I clean one area of my place (bathroom, bedroom/linen, living area, dining area) every Sunday.

RelaxingSundays

I seem to manage everything pretty good, but I know stress is on the horizon when I double-book events on the same day, don’t wash any laundry that week, stop exercising/ dancing, or stop writing.  These are my warning signs before the physical ailments of sleep-deprivation, vocal cord dysfunction, or a sinus infection.

Pray for me yall!  While I love being busy, it’s not good for my health, and I’ve learned that it distracts me from my purpose.  We are all here “just enough time to do God’s Will”.  I never want to be too over-worked and over-stressed to be winning at this thing called life.

Now This is Love

Most people don’t know this, but I have kept a journal since middle school. Only about 5 percent of my thoughts and journals make it to social media.  I currently have a business journal and a Christian journal.  Unexpectedly sometimes, the two overlap.  This is what happened today while documenting some business scope clarity.  At a high level: I kept wanting to pilot some of my business concepts with a group where I hold some influence.  However, God keeps showing me that since I am not leading that group, I must continue to be submissive to my leadership.  This past weekend, it was made clear that I should stop trying to pilot the concepts with that group and continue following God’s vision of doing the activity with a completely separate (and currently unknown, yikes) group of people.  While writing this, I wanted to make a distinction that my company will be other-person centered and just stammered out the Mission Statement.  Then I paused and thought, “Wow! That’s Good.”

I then proceeded to figure out if it actually was the Vision, Mission, Values or Purpose and used the Harvard Business Review to help me through it.  For extra credit, I studied on a Credo too.  I was in LOVE!  This was so exciting for me and just took my breath away.  Now I know all of business school won’t be like this.  Yet, I saw this as a good time for me to announce that I am so excited to start my MBA pursuit Fall 2016!!

Degrees

I hope to one day have a man that makes me this happy… Until then, I guess my degrees will keep me warm!

2015 Resolutions

In the words of my SD grandpa: Plans won’t cut it.  You can ‘plan’ to do something and even put it on a calendar, but that still won’t make it happen.  It only becomes significant when you are making actions toward it.

Happy 2015

1 Year

1. Interview and land a new position at my company – DONE

2. Read 12 books, my choice.  First one was Total Money Makeover.

3. Save $10,000 between savings, emergency fund, and house fund.

4. Learn Spanish good enough to hold a conversation with the cleaning lady that tells me a daily joke. Around Speaking Level 2 on the ILR scale – Limited Working Proficiency

5. Learn the Piano, enough to play a trendy song in a hotel lobby

6. A weekly public display of one of my minor sports: Yoga, Golf, Softball, Ice Skating.

Personally, I’m not one for resolutions, but God has already helped me part of the way through these and I’m excited to share my testimony when I complete them all!  In searching for a different name for the title– I realized I can stop playing, they really are New Years Resolutions!


 

Martin Soler Photography

I’ve already started some Future ones too!

5 Year

Travel to my 3 dream places: Rio, Paris, Hawaii.

Learn French

Buy a condo

Live and work internationally

[all of those would be done if I Lived and worked in France!]

10 Year

Complete my MBA and match my 2015 salary in earnings from my business

Combine my corporate position with my business

Pray with me yall!

updates, starting Now!

Coronado Beach

Among a couple 2013 New Year’s Resolutions — that are neither defined, documented nor by any way am I held accountable — is to “do better” with this bloggy.  So I plan on giving quick update snippets until I find something really interesting to talk about.

Biggest News: I live in California and I love it!  Great job, abode, friends, church, and beach.  All in all, Great God.

 

Mission Beach

Testimony > Revelation

 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. 

-Matthew 6:33-34

 At least it's a pretty nice back.

Let me start by saying my LS is one of the beastingest people I know!  Fortunately, I can personally point out characteristics that make many of my LS’s quite THE BEAST.  But this one in particular was my first president in an organization that promotes sisterhood and service and was rebuilding a chapter from the BOTTOM!  She led us all through a time when many of us didn’t even know how to make it successful.  She is an alumna of University of Michigan and THE Georgetown Law and has passed the BAR exam!!   Other than that, she’s caring, hilarious, gorgeous, and pretty fly!

After I read her latest blog post, at first I was hurt that she is all depressed.  Then, I was really excited that I have the opportunity to witness and share my testimony with her.  I was just going to comment back on her facebook wall, but thought it was getting a bit lengthy, so below is my hip and shorthanded candid  response:

Girl, this chapter is the realest talk ever!! My first super testimony was my own experience struggling for a job.  I prayed that His will be done!  Similar to you, I had my own “revelation” moment.  After months, I finally just got content that I was staying at home for a while, and even asked my parents (first time for everything) to get me these dream boots for Christmas!  I used this time as an opportunity for me to get closer to my parents and closer to God.  I had to find out what He wanted me to learn.  Now, 2 years later, I realize that I wouldn’t have the close relationship with my parents that I have now had I not been home for those months.  It finally got to a point where I stopped stressing.  Soon after, I bought a flight that I couldn’t afford, and decided “I’d work it out”.  But, Money got REAL funny.  I thank God that a couple days before the credit card bill was due, I got my job, and they direct deposited my moving stipend in my account!

All of Matthew 6 is on point!  Give to the Needy, Pray the right way and understand The Lord’s Prayer, study up on FASTING, Serve God not money, Don’t worry about tomorrow.  Then, and only then can your testimony be greater than this “revelation” of depression.  God Bless you LS, I’ve already sent a prayer up for ya!

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
   and delivers them out of all their troubles.

-Psalms 34:17

Does Happiness End?

Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time!  I’ve been having a steady string of favor and blessings that have come my way.

Work:  I was worried for a little while because some of my team members have been going out of their way to sabatoge my progress.  Not explicitly telling my manager of the situation, I simply stated that I need to focus my knowledge and experience on another program.  Last week, we planned an exit strategy from that project and directing me towards my official engineering assignments!

Church:  I am really loving my church and my pastor.  He recently celebrated his 15 Pastoral Anniversary and it has been such a blessing to see what he has done with families, ministry, and the community.  The way that I got involved with the church was through their tutoring ministry, T.O.Y.S (Tutoring Our Youth for Success).  Since joining in December, I’ve been a lot more involved with Bible Study, meeting more members, and even sang in the Women’s Choir for Mother’s Day!

NSBE:  I’m officially the Programs Chair on the Region 4 Alumni Executive Board for the National Society of Black Engineers!  I am the lead of the Programs Zone.  My Program focus will be mainly on NSBEpreneur, Chapter Development, and Leadership and Personal Development.  My Personal focus will be on unemployed Alumni support.  I have a personal interest in that area and want to create an want the Alumni to serve as support for those going through recent graduation, layoffs, or entrepreneurship.

Toastmasters:  I am really enjoying my local chapter at work.  Toastmasters is a speaking organization to improve communication and leadership development.  I am still pursuing my first certification for Competent Communication, but I was asked to be on the leadership board as the Vice President Education.  It is the second highest ranking officer in the club, where my purpose is to get others excited and involved in the club.  Personally, the best way to do that is by illustrating what made me come to my first meeting and stay!

Relationships:  I’m finally out of an incredibly hurtful situation, and taking it slow towards the future.  If nothing else, that gives me something to shout about everyday!  I am very happy with my current situation.  I believe that I have already experienced many of the characteristics that I like (and don’t like).  The #1 must have is someone with a compatible personality – someone to rejoice in my happy times, and cheer me up when I’m feeling low.  The #1 dislike is trying to convince someone else that your plan is correct with no room to compromise or have a friendly debate.

Everything is on the up-and-up and I’m really enjoying my life right now.  BUT for every action, there is an equal and OPPOSITE reaction, which I am not excited about (Thanks Ike).

Secret Shopping and Work at Home Scams

I had a random thought this morning about one of the girls I tried out for the Colts’ Cheerleaders with.  Lots of the girls were unemployed, students, or house wives.  One girl was a Secret Shopper.  In my plan to be a stay at home wife and mom, I thought I’d do a little premature research.

I googled “Secret Shopper” and popped up a bunch of sites asking me to do it, and 1 that stood out with “Secret-Shopping Scam” by MSNBC.  That article talks about one secret shopper’s experience that led to a scam.  Basically, 1. The Company sends him a check for $2,500.  2. He cashes the check at his bank.  3. He keeps $250 and sends back $2,250 to secret shop and evaluate the local MoneyGram.  4. After the check has been sent to The Company, the check to your bank account bounces.  5. The Company has your money and you must repay your bank from your own pockets!  Sucks right?!

After seeing that stuff, there was a link on the page talking about Working From Home using your computer.  I went to their page where there is a great story by a beautiful woman holding a baby with a caption about her losing her job (with which of us can relate).  There is a big banner of their “accreditations” about being seen on NBC, Reader’s Digest, Good Morning America, and The New York Times.  Their site connects to their main web page with even more references.  Of course, being a good blogger, I wanted to do a little research so you guys don’t have to 😉  I found these 2 failed searches on The New York Times and MSNBC before I got to a very good news report on the work at home scam.  The embedded video shows the same “mom” in a Buffalo news report.  There still is nothing that tells the actual detail of the scam, but that was enough for me.

I have actually been scammed before with Primerica, an insurance company.  Don’t feel bad or embarrassed if you’ve been hustled.  I ended up getting all of my money back, but it wasn’t without hassle.  I thought because I went to high school with the guy that invited me, and it is approved by the Better Business Bureau, I was golden.  It was indeed a pyramid scheme from which I would get little to no profit.

In conclusion, there’s no job bandwagon that you can just jump onto.  If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  I think the only companies that you can really guarantee won’t scam you are ones that you start on you own in a highly desired field!

Sadface

I’ve been going on this like 7-day depression<–>euphoric cycle.  It has been awful.  I realized that Coke and other caffeinated drinks taste good, but make me crash like crazy.  It puts me in like a time warp where I am just dazed for a good 5 minute stretch.  That also happens during my 4 hour drives home, which is definitely not a good thing.  Also, I stopped taking my allergy pills because they make my patience quite thin thus making me quite mean to other people.

All that aside, I just haven’t been feeling the best.  My boyfriend and I keep going through crazy good<–>bad cycles and it would be great if we just went back to the constant good we had.  Being at work for 9 hours gets me a little bummed at different times.  There has also been some drama there (on more than one occasion) where people just don’t have the ability to have personal conversations with others.  If I’m doing something out of the ordinary, tell me, not others.   I’ve been feeling the need for a good cry, but just haven’t given myself the opportunity.  The up-swing of things happened when I just talked to my girls on the phone or hung out with them.  They make me laugh and they are very motivational to themselves and with me.

Something has got to change.  I plan to start reading a lot more!  I have to read one book for work.  My friend has referred The Five Love Languages.  I also plan to read my bible or have a good old-fashioned on the knee prayer time.  I think I might actually unplug my TV so I can just focus and think about me.  I’ll give updates, wish me luck!