back to school

A few weeks ago, I attended a networking event for college students at MIT. My job for the evening was to represent the company I work for and talk to students about what it’s like to work where I do. I brushed up on the details of the internship program and considered myself more than prepared.

As I made my way across the city, it occurred to me that I was an undergraduate college student 25 years ago. Twenty five years. Here’s a little #tbt of college senior me.

Portrait of a future experience design and product manager, though I’d never heard of either of those jobs when I was a college senior back in 1992.

Portrait of a future experience design and product manager, though I’d never heard of either of those jobs when I was a college senior back in 1992.

I wore a lot of red lipstick back then. My roommate freshman year, an impossibly cool dancer from New York City, introduced me to the idea of everyday red lipstick - Carnation, a sheer, bright red in a bright blue tube, by Cover Girl. I splurged on that shade I’m wearing for my senior photos - Brick by Origins. (Those blonde highlights? Sun-In, baby.)

Right. Where was I?

Each student I met was accomplished, articulate, and deeply passionate about their studies. Not one lived up to the stereotypes, parodies and punch lines about millenials. Since the event was hosted by the Society of Women Engineers, most students I met were female. Despite the fact I believed them to be more together than I was at their age, many had exactly the same questions and worries I remember having 25 years ago.

How did you get your dream job?
Was your MBA worth it?
What’s your best career advice?

Since then I’ve thinking about these questions, who I looked up to when I was a twenty-something student, and what it means for me to be there for the next generation of women in engineering. I wanted to have more answers and thoughts for this post, but after a few weeks of it sitting in my Drafts folders, it’s high time to admit that they’re not yet ready.