FUTURO’s Career Day

Written by our amazing LALDEF volunteer Bonnie Schultz:

On December 2, all FUTURO students participated in Career Day, organized by one of our volunteers, Bonnie Schultz. Meg Caddeau, our host at Tigerlabs, Princeton’s first entrepreneurship center, was our contact in generously reserving the space and providing snacks. Meg also offers college guidance and counseling as a volunteer with FUTURO.

Speakers came from a diverse set of fields – Business Analytics, Economics, Translation, Computer Science, and Healthcare. The first speaker, Jonathan Eckstein, is a professor at Rutgers Business School and spoke on the growing field of BAIT (Business Analytics and Information Technology). “My main focus,” said Eckstein, “is to describe to prospective students how information technology and data analytics have merged, so a student is not just learning technology but also how to analyze data and formulate the best business decisions.”  Rutgers is rare in that it offers information technology, data analysis, and decision modeling in a combined program for undergraduates, and Eckstein wanted to inform students about both the field and the program.

We also had Violeta Rosenthal, an economist who has worked at the World Bank and helped develop NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Rosenthal told the students that she first became interested in economics growing up in El Salvador, where she saw people living in poverty and wanted to help them. “Economics,” she told the students, “is how society uses limited resources, deciding what to produce, how to produce it, and for whom.” She informed students about the daily work of an economist and the courses that they would need to obtain an economics degree.

Bonnie’s sister, Lucinda Schultz, spoke about language translation and her work with the United Nations. She described the difference between working as an interpreter, who performs simultaneous translation during UN sessions, and a translator, who provides written translation of documents from groups such as the Commission on Human Rights. She told them that they could translate anything from trade legislation to human rights’ abuses, and that the UN requires fluency in two UN languages besides English along with a master’s degree. “Since you’re bilingual already,” she told them, “you could easily add a third language,” obtain a master’s degree after graduating from college, and qualify for a UN appointment after passing the entrance examinations.

Rob Schapire, who teaches Computer Science at Princeton University and works as a research scientist at Microsoft Labs, spoke about the computer science field. He described how people design software, figuring out how to solve certain business problems and then writing the corresponding code. “Technical companies like Facebook have changed society with their products,” Schapire said, “there is a lot of exciting stuff happening in computer science.” He emphasized that there are many jobs in the computer science field, and that number is increasing all the time. He told them about the different jobs that are available, from quality assurance to technical support, to the ever-growing field of computer security.  The field has become so diverse, he noted, that if you have an interest in a topic such as art, you can work in computer graphics, or if you are musically talented, design music software.

The last speaker was Nanci Levine, who has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing as well as two master’s degrees, one in hospital administration and the other from a nurse anesthesia program. She is the Chief Anesthetist at St. Peter’s hospital in New Brunswick. Enthusiastic about working as an anesthetist, she described an event at the hospital whereby she was called out of a business meeting to tend to a woman who was nine months pregnant and had been in a car accident. She sedated the woman, and the team delivered her baby by cesarean section and fixed her broken leg.  When the woman revived, Levine was able to tell her that her baby was alive and healthy, and then return to her meeting. When one of the students asked Levine why nurses were mostly female, she told him that that wasn’t true. “Being an anesthetist is one of the highest paid jobs in nursing,” Levine said, and added that since it’s so well paid, most of the anesthetists who report to her are men. She also told them about the different careers in the nursing field and how to train for them.

We are hoping to host a similar event in Spring 2019. Do/did you have an interesting job? Interested in sharing your educational and career path with our FUTURO students? If so, please contact Bonnie Schultz at bonnieschultz3@verizon.net.

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