Loving your job

When I finished high school I was convinced that I wanted to study International Affairs. I grew up in an environment where the most common topics of discussion were politics, history and sociology. On top of that, my first boyfriend was a sociologist that would absolutely love to talk about politics, laws, religion, etc.

Years later, I was lucky to do an internship at the UN for the Ecuadorian mission in New York where I attended several conferences and meetings including the meeting  Women 2000: Gender Equality , Development and Peace where a bunch of women got together to talk about the progress that was done on gender equality.

Ironically, it was precisely at the UN that I got disappointed about it all. I realized with much grief that people would spend so much time talking about how to write the paper of a meeting or how important it was for a country to show in that paper what their representatives have talked…I had the impression that the majority of people there didn’t really care about the solutions and the actions of very important things, they cared more about the protocols, the papers and the meetings and connections. I also felt like many of those delegates were not the right people to be there … I mean, it was difficult for me to understand how the presence of certain people could actually help in something.

Given that I always had a fascination for math , logic and programming I changed my mind and chose other major: Computers. At first it was Computer Science and then I changed to Computer Engineering when I got back to Ecuador.

The truth is that protocols, procedures and writing processes are important in almost every field. Connections as well, sometimes they are fair, sometimes they are not. I do believe that if you are brilliant in something, people will look for you, if you are brilliant in something you are lucky! But if you are just someone who struggles hard and who can make a good job after a lot of effort then connections always help. The sad part is when you are bad at something and you still get a good position in something you are bad at because of the connections.

I also realized that in life you find few passionate and courageous people in their jobs …. I have the impression that everybody is tired the majority of the time regardless the field chosen to work in. Few are the ones who really love their jobs…

Do I love my choice? I don’t know…. I want to discover it. Can I be someone who makes a bit of a difference in this?

I must confess, sometimes I do not find any meaning in what I am doing …sometimes I think I will be doing something more productive if I plant potatoes in the garden of my house in Ecuador. But maybe I am not the only one thinking that. At the end, research is about discovery … maybe I will find my passion soon in the middle of the screen among Pig scripts. What I want to discover though…is something that could be used to help people…in anything, but to help people.

What I love about this new world (Research) though is that I find very interesting fellows …a lot of the people I have come across have different talents and interests…. and almost all of them share authenticity in their personality. In my lab , beside researchers, you find musicians, athletics, dancers and writers…

I love getting to know women in Tech, despite the fact that we are only a small percentage in this field, so far they all have made such a great impression upon me.

Tomorrow is the New Chinese Year, the year of the rabbit….please dear rabbit let it be my year of discovery.

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One Response to Loving your job

  1. Andrew P says:

    thanks for writing this 🙂 this post is interesting to me, because i’m also working in a technical area (just started a PhD in a computer science department) but also want to apply my research to a concrete field, where it can have a positive effect on people’s lives. i’m also interested by your comments on the UN (i haven’t worked for the UN, but my ex-girlfriend does). i hope that 10 months after writing this post, your research is rewarding, and you’re pleased with the choice you made 🙂

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