Questions from Teachers in Training: Engineer and Accessible Technology

When did you first realize you wanted to be an engineer? Did this have anything to do with your first encounters with accessible technology?

My parents saw potential in me since as early as seventh grade for a potential career in engineering/tech industry (though they merely suggested, and never pushed, that I consider the field). I had received my first personally owned MacBook in sixth grade as part of a grant and spent hours trying to understand the accessibility settings. I quickly discovered the magnifier and taught myself how to use it, which was just the beginning. When a freshman in high school, I took an introductory HTML course, and was fascinated by the concept of being able to type some code into a text file and see immediate results that people could use. This moment was when I decided to pursue computer science specifically, and continued to take advanced math courses and learned Visual Basic, my first experience in object-oriented programming. It wasn’t until the end of my freshman year of college that I decided to pursue a direction of assistive technology development; and it wasn’t until this summer with my first corporate experience that I’ve decided that might involve a direction in User Experience and a potential MS in Human-Computer Interaction (a multi-disciplinary field combining social science and industrial design with technical background). My career focus has been a natural progression, and I’m grateful for all the experiences that have led me to where I am now and where I will go.

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