Monday, August 3, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Jessica Anderson (Twin Cities)

BDPA Twin Cities did not participate in the national high school computer competition (HSCC) for a number of years. That changed in 2005 when Jessica Anderson and her teammates stepped up to participate on the chapter's national team during her senior year of high school.

We were able to catch up with Jessica and ask her to share her thoughts on the HSCC experience. Here is what she wrote:

My name is Jessica Merie Anderson and I am an incoming senior at the University of Alabama majoring in Management Information Systems with a minor in computer software systems. BDPA has been a part of my life since grade school and given me skills that have contributed to my success and landed me great opportunities!

At first, I could never understand why binary numbers, databases, ASP, PHP, and HTML were so important, let alone why I enjoyed going every Saturday to learn something so foreign to me. Although at times I found myself frustrated, I got up every Saturday morning because I enjoy the challenge, my peers, my instructors and the opportunity to learn something new. The best feeling to me is when a program that I constructed from scratch has no errors and runs! That is when I knew I connected information technology. BDPA has also helped to establish great relationships with potential employers, teammates, and other individuals interested in IT from around the country. I have met some of my closet friends to date through BDPA.

Learning how to program at BDPA has helped me in courses such as C++ and Java in college. I find myself less frustrated and more successful than my classmates because of my previous training. The programming skills and knowledge of technology that I learned in BDPA and in college have made me a more marketable candidate and set me apart from all other applicants when applying for jobs and internships! Programming is a skill that not many people learn how to do thoroughly, and yet so many people use various programs on a day-to-day basis for numerous tasks. I wanted to be part of the world that constructed programs and utilized technology to help make things better, faster, and cheaper.

Growing up, I wanted to attend medical school because at the time I felt that was the only way I could help people. Helping people is what I live for. As time progressed, I had change of heart as to what field of study I wanted to enter into. I realized that there are other ways to help people and making lives better, and that I did not have to go to medical school to do it.

My plans include graduating in 2010 with my bachelors, and applying to Accenture, Procter and Gamble, and Ernest and Young.

Thank You BDPA!

I'm still amazed at a young 'un from Minnesota attending the University of Alabama. I imagine that Jessica experienced some serious culture shock in her freshman year!

Anyhow, I look forward to seeing the continued progress of Jessica from the 'classroom to the boardroom'. I hope that the recruiters at Accenture, P&G and Ernst & Young are paying attention!

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