For most of my high school and college career, I’ve always thought about what came next, and how what I was doing that day, that week, or that month contributed to what I wanted to achieve in the coming year or years. Tennis, student government, and tutoring were large parts of my middle and high school careers, so I wanted a college where I could pursue all of those. Though I haven’t stuck with two out of three of those activities, I still look ahead to the future constantly.
In college, I’ve worked on side projects to beef up my engineering resume. I’ve attended competitions and conferences to learn skills outside the classroom and to network. At the end of last summer, I had a return offer for my dream job at a dream company on a dream team (I do a field of tech called developer evangelism that involves coding demo applications to showcase possible use cases of technology, in addition to traveling, teaching, writing, judging competitions, public speaking, and serving different technical communities, among other tasks.) A question I asked a mentor and myself was, “What comes next? What if I get too comfortable? What can I possibly do after landing my dream job before I start my senior year of college if I don’t want to eventually become a manager?”
I was genuinely curious and torn. And you know what my mentor/teammate/friend who had gone through the same dilemma said? He told me that it is not in our natures to be stationary. Once we achieve one goal, we push the next goal back. We constantly work, grind, and push ourselves.
These are traits I’ve found in classmates, teammates, professors, and alumnae I’ve met or worked with. Mawrtyrs constantly learn on the go or on the job, teaching themselves new skills unrelated to their major or field. That’s something our liberal arts background has prepared us for (me in particular: my coursework in philosophy, English, East Asian languages and cultures, sociology, math, and of course computer science, has prepared me for a job that works across disciplines.)
So what’s next? Starting in August, I’m fortunate to be paid to develop apps, travel the country and world attending and speaking at conferences and events, and write technical tutorials. I also plan on taking on an extern from Bryn Mawr or Haverford as soon as I can on Fall and Spring breaks and on training to be a tennis referee. After a few years (this goal timeline is purposefully left vague), I can see myself co-founding a tech company (inspired by my extern host, alumna Susan Morrow ’90) or becoming a Chief Technology Officer. I can also see myself quitting tech, coaching tennis, working as a line judge at professional tournaments, or helping run a professional tournament. Maybe I’ll go get an MBA, or go into animation, or become a yoga instructor.
Once I have my dream job, I’ll find a new dream job to work for. Though I don’t know what that will be, I do know I will live more in the moment, as I’m confident my experiences have prepared me to be prepared for anything that comes my way, and I will always be learning.