When Terry was growing up he was very interested with computers and how they worked. He used to love to hack computers with his friends. They used to dumpster dive to get credit card information and try to buy things with the numbers. Terry said his friends and him just wanted to see if they could actually do it, and they could. Their scheme went sour one day, and his friend was arrested. They later found Terry’s name in his friend’s diary and they all had to go the juvenile detention center. At this time there were no computer laws, so he and his friends were only charged with credit card fraud.
When Terry went to college he did not think he could get a job working with computers because of his record. When he graduated he started working at a commercial company working on computers. He was able to apply the skills he learned when he was younger to this job. He met someone that worked in the Pentagon and was talking to them about computer work. Terry did not think that he would be able to get a job working at the NSA because of his record, and his background in computer hacking. However, he was hired at the NSA to work to prevent computer hackers. Terry worked there for five years, and later built a company with former NSA employees. Terry’s company now helps the government prevent hackers and break codes to help them get into places to strengthen national security.
Jim joined the Navy in the 1970s and his job was to figure out how the United States’ enemies think and how to break their codes. He learned different strategies to predict and figure out how to break into their systems. He was very successful at this, and never failed when trying to break into different systems. After he served in the Navy, Jim used his skills that he learned the service to work with companies and prevent computer hackers. Now Jim works as the CEO at Gerretson LLC and leads a team of Information Assurance professionals to protect and address companies’ security needs.
Chrissy has been working at Advance for 8 years. She is now the non-profit sales representative for her company. Over the years, she has learned that she works best at a small company. Chrissy has always been a hard worker. She started working at the age of 15. She learned that she enjoyed working with people while she was in college. She worked as a bartender and server during college and further developed her people skills. She learned to ask a lot of questions and try to learn as much as she can. Chrissy began to work for an IT recruiter. She enjoyed this work because she liked problem solving and figuring out the best placement for people. However, she wanted more personal growth and contacted a recruiter so she could get into the sales business. Through her work she has learned how to ask hard questions, handle rejections, and figure out how to solve problems.
Michael is the CEO of South River Technologies, but he did not always think that he would end up working in computers and selling software to prevent computer hackers. He grew up in Dundalk and has always been a hard worker. He started working at age 11 and got his own paper route. He delivered newspapers for four years, and learned that the harder you work the more you get in return. When he was a teenager he started working at McDonalds to save up money for a car. When he graduated high school, he attended a local college and lived at home. He worked hard and balanced his two jobs and his school work. He studied computer science, and after he graduated he started working at a bank. Throughout his career he met many people interested in technology and he kept in contact with them. He started his own company and through networking his company was able to grow into a multimillion dollar organization that works all over the world. Michael said to work hard, be yourself, be honest, and network.
Rebecca became interested in graphic design in high school, when she worked for the school yearbook and newspaper. At the time she did not realize that she could make a career out of the skills she was learning, and when she did she applied for college to study graphic design. After Rebecca graduated college she had two different jobs. She learned that she liked a small workplace environment, collaboration and working with people. At one of her jobs she ran the creative department and worked with non-profits and small businesses to help with their graphic design and marketing needs. At this time the recession hit, and many of the organizations that Rebecca worked with could no longer afford their services. She decided to make a bold move and start planning to open her own business to help serve these organizations that could not afford the high cost of hiring large companies for their marketing needs. Now she has been working at her own business, Redstart Creative for over four years. She told us to the best way to find your career is to find your passion, figure out what you are good at, be conscious of what you are doing now and always try to learn new things. Rebecca advised us to find mentors and develop a peer network of people that you can talk to about your career journey.