Dr. James H. Cook
It also made sense financially since the company announced that employee’s with greater than 7 years of employment, qualified for 100% reimbursement up to the IRS maximums per year. I had been employed over almost 15 years at that point.
Personally I had been on the Board of Directors for two non-profit organizations by this time. Having recently finished serving as the Acting President of one board, my term was over and I was unable to continue due to term limits. So I was looking for something else to do with my time as well. I continued to produce various television programs for the public access community during this time which allowed me to exercise my critical thinking and interpersonal skills on various projects.
Professionally I was regarded as the
“go to” person in the group. I was the
right arm of the Director and routinely worked on new corporate initiatives. I interacted freely with ranking corporate
I.S. personnel to accomplish various upgrades or standardization projects. In July 1999, I was flown to our corporate
It had never been in my goals to
sell my house and move to the east coast.
At first I thought they were crazy to think I would take the job. Later, after much discussion with my inner
self, my father, my mother, a few of my close friends and the hiring manager
who kept raising the salary offer on me; I accepted the position and was headed
My entire life took a turn that I
could not have foreseen. My career views
were totally changing with this move to
But I survived and eventually found
I was apprehensive of the online school but took my first class in 2001. I was soon sold on the process. I was able to get the assignments done and get a good grade in the class with lots of solid study ethics. Who I am today is reflected by the classes that I took. I have more current I.T. knowledge of telecommunication, programming, database concepts and data structures than I would have without the program. My work skills have increased and improved as a direct result of my online classes. I changed from Supervisor to Project Manager and was able to put my new skills to work by taking on different projects that I would not have normally worked on. My professional position excelled due to my knowledge obtained through my classes online.
Today my critical thinking skills have been improved because of the general overview of I.T. topics covered in these classes. I am able to speak one on one with the programmers or other corporate professions on projects that are underway. Previously I did not understand much about new web based applications. Now I understand what it is to loose focus on a screen or mouse over a screen location to cause different actions to occur. And I can communicate better in my bug reports by pointing out focus issues from page to page of an application that I was performing an acceptance test plan on.
I am not sure how my schooling has affected my personal life. However, it has curtailed what it might have been. This summer I was relaxing at my summer place reading books and tending to school work instead of frolicking in the sand on the beach. But that is a small price to pay for finally having my bachelor’s degree. But where is this all taking me? What are my future plans?
Over the next 5 years my personal
goals are to continue my educational pursuits on multiple levels. The traditional academic goal would be to
obtain a Masters degree in Computer Science so that I might join the faculty of
a University like the
But I have also recently joined the fire department of Cherry Grove, NY where my summer home is and I am an applicant in my new home town of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. So some of my academic goals will be to start and complete my Firefighter I certification over the next 18 months. I am looking forward to participating in a few firefighter seminars and conferences to gain the experience and knowledge to keep myself safe. I have also always been interested in safety and might look into a safety office certification after completion of my Firefighter I certification. There are many other certifications available to me after I have completed my basic training. The most important will be to learn the Hook & Ladder truck’s operations if I am approved to join the company. Also, over the next few summers, I will be learning the other beach fire department’s procedures and different ways of doing things there. It should be very interesting.
I can also see me on the Board of Director’s of another non-profit organization that I belong to and eventually being elected as their “president” of that organization. I would serve a one year term but the process (if done correctly) would take about 3 years to complete. The organization is located in NYC and I would need to learn more about the other organizations that we provide fund raising for within NYC since I would be representing that group.
My professional goals over the next 5 years are
dependent upon what positions might open up.
If the Director of Diversity position was to open, I would apply for
it. This would hopefully get me an
interview with our COO and possibly CEO (our COO will become the CEO in May
2004). He is also the chairman on our
Diversity Council and very active in diversity matters. I feel that I would be qualifies to interview
for the position because of my new BSIT degree and possibly having my Masters
degree and/or my Firefighters certification by that time. Another position that I would be interested
in is the I.T. Director position at our
My firefighter skills I will obviously continue to improve as well as my problem solving skills and interpersonal skills. Both are valuable to you in any professional or personal situation.
Where does one end when you are
reflecting upon what might become of your life?
I have no crystal ball, but the future is always clouded by should of,
would of and could of’s. It will be
interesting to review this paper, in a few years, and see what goals I have
obtained and which never came to be. But
one thing is for sure. My entire life
has changed since I found the