After receiving an email from a member of BDPA asking for a short bio of what I have been up to, I could not help but take a spin down memory lane. Looking through old photos from the computer competitions that my team won (and lost — I will never forget Chicago!), I really began to realize the impact that the years I spent working with BDPA had on my life. My participation in the program was more for me than just a way to develop my understanding of technology – and the role that minorities can and should play.
After my BDPA High School Computer Competition days were over, I went on to study Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy at Michigan State University, with a second specialization in the French language. Though I did not intend to follow the IT track, I did manage to work throughout college in IT (mainly networking) to help pay my way through.
During my 3rd year at MSU, I decided that I wanted to immerse myself in the language, so I moved to France for a year to study French history and literature. As it often goes with Paris, I fell in love with it. So, I finished my 4th year at MSU, then moved back to Paris to teach English to inner-city (most newly-arrived African immigrants) kids for a year.
Once the teaching program ended, my new life in Paris was just getting started! So, I began to think of ways to stay and make a living. I called on my training received whilst with BDPA, and the professional experience gained throughout college. And here I am, working in the IT department (mainly in support & testing/development) at the New York Stock Exchange/Euronext Paris office.
BDPA is a valuable experience for young people for many reasons. We learned how to work hard towards an objective in a team-oriented environment. In the training leading up to all of our competitions, we learned to be resourceful, and use what skills we had available. So, this is what I’ve been up to – using many of the skills that I’ve acquired during my experience with BDPA.
PS – I will be happy to show you guys around should you decide to have the National Conference in my neighborhood someday.
Graduate, Michigan State University (Class of 2006)
BDPA HSCC Alumni (Class of 1999-2000)