These MCPS graduates in successful careers all have one thing in common: they took career readiness courses that gave them an early edge through experience and education. Read and watch their stories.
Occupation: Associate, Promontory Financial Group, an IBM Company
Education: Gaithersburg HS (Academy of Finance), University of Maryland, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
You work in the financial industry. Can you explain what you do?
My company works with banks and other financial institutions to help them follow the rules set by the government to ensure a safe and sound financial system. We’re kind of like bank doctors. Any time a bank is in trouble, we come in to help them. For example, in money-laundering situations, we help banks figure out who the bad guys are so that they don’t accidentally open accounts that might be funding illegal activities. My current position is in business development. I look for new banks to help. Read More and Watch the Video
Occupation: Principal, JoAnn Leleck Elementary School at Broad Acres
Education: Springbrook HS, Edison HS of Technology (Automotive Technologies) Frostburg State University, Bowie State University
You come from a family of educators. Did you know from a young age that you would have a career in education?
No, I didn’t. I majored in sociology and minored in Spanish in college, and I wanted to work with diverse populations in some capacity. It wasn’t until my senior year when I gave a presentation that my friends suggested education. It was too late to change majors, so after graduation I started working with kids who were in foster care and group homes. I went back to school and earned my first master’s degree in special education. Read More and Watch the Video
Occupation: Data manager and protocol Manager for clinical studies, The Emmes Corporation
Education: Wheaton HS (Biosciences Academy), University of Richmond, Johns Hopkins University
You’ve dissected eyeballs, kidneys, and pigs and studied the brains of mice, all while in high school. Was this by choice?
Most definitely! It was my decision to attend the Biosciences Academy at Wheaton High School. I grew up in Nepal where the health care wasn’t very good, so I’ve always been interested in medicine. I want to make sure everyone has access to quality health care. Read More and Watch the Video
Occupation: Owner, USA Services
Education: Einstein HS, Edison HS of Technology (Construction Technology), Montgomery College
You own a design and build company. What kind of work does that involve?
We do residential and commercial renovations and also build homes and businesses. Right now, we have 15 employees working on projects in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Read More and Watch the Video
Occupation: Kindergarten teacher, Stone Mill ES
Education:Wootton HS (Early Child Development Program), George Mason University
You are teaching in the same school you attended as a child. Did you ever imagine you would come full circle?
I’ve always enjoyed working with kids and did a lot of babysitting and working at summer camps. I knew I really wanted to be a teacher when I got to high school. Wootton has a preschool on site so I signed up for the Early Child Development Program and learned all aspects of teaching. In my senior year, I did an internship at – yes, Stone Mill! After college when I applied for a job, there was an opening at the school and I was hired. It feels great to be back! Read More and Watch the Video
Education: Northwood HS (Academy of Politics, Advocacy, and Law), University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Maryland Law School
You thought about becoming a park ranger or a police chief. How did you settle on being an attorney?
I attended the Academy of Politics, Advocacy, and Law at Northwood, and that opened a whole world of career options I didn’t know about. Attorneys from different fields would visit our class, and I had a big “aha” moment when we met the general counsel for a hotel chain. That’s when I learned that lawyers don’t necessarily spend all of their time in court on criminal matters. Read More and Watch the Video
Occupation: Security Engineer, Hughes Network Systems
Education: Northwest HS, Edison HS of Technology (Network Operations Program), Montgomery College, University of Maryland University College
You have a master’s degree in cybersecurity and work on protecting systems from hackers. When did you know this was the career for you?
Growing up, I wanted to be a doctor or a professional soccer player. In my senior year of high school I had all of my credits so I enrolled in the Network Operations program at the Edison HS for technology. I learned so much about computers and I was hungry to learn more. Even though I attended for just half of the day, it was an intensive experience that paved the way for where I am today. Read More and Watch the Video
Occupation: English teacher, Whitman HS
Education: Sherwood HS (Early Child Development Program), University of Maryland
Did you dream about being a high school teacher as a kid?
Growing up, I wanted to be a computer programmer or a game designer. I could have gone into either of those fields but I was inspired by my high school English teacher, Ms. Dibler. It was because of her that I developed a passion for literature and majored in English in college. The idea to teach came from an administrator that I bumped into when I went back to Sherwood for a visit. She knew I had been in the Early Child Development program when I was in the 11th grade and suggested the master’s program in secondary English at Maryland. I thought being a teacher was beyond what I could accomplish, and I was nervous that I’d be rejected. I was thrilled when I got in and glad that I went for it. Read More and Watch the Video
Occupation: Software engineer, Facebook
Education: Wootton HS (Academy of Information Technology), University of Maryland
Are the perks working for Facebook really that good?
It really is a great place to work. We have kitchens on every floor with free drinks and snacks and free meals in our cafeteria. I have flexible working hours, and we get all of the newest technology. The perks are great, but I think the biggest plus for me is knowing that the work I do can impact literally billions of people around the world. So for any problem I’m working on, I have to remember how to scale my work. I often have to step back and remind myself that I’m working for a company with a global reach unlike any other. Read More
Occupation: Service consultant, Lexus of Silver Spring
Education: Damascus HS (Automotive Technologies), Pennsylvania College of Technologyy
Tell us about your current position.
I’m responsible for working directly with customers who are getting their cars serviced. I communicate the needs of the customer to the service department and also communicate any recommendations from that department to the customer. I’ve been in this position since June 2017. Read More
Occupation: Hair artist, Karma by Erwin Gomez
Education: Springbrook HS, Edison HS of Technology (Cosmetology Program), Montgomery College
Your list of clients includes Claire Danes, Jennifer Garner, Rosario Dawson, Ellen Page, Paris Hilton, and America Ferrera, among others. Is there more pressure working with celebrities?
Not really. They've all been phenomenal to work with and less picky than some of my regular clients! I try to be relatable and warm to everyone, and the celebrities I’ve worked with have all treated me with respect and like an old friend from high school. Read More