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What drove you to go to college and pursue your current career?

I want to know what inspired you to chose your current career.

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Subject: Career question for you

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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Jaidan,

As a young teenager, I was captivated by the cosmos and aspired to be an astronomer, a passion sparked by the small lens telescopes I received as gifts around the age of 13.

However, life has a way of changing plans. My uncle, my father's brother, tragically passed away from a massive heart attack at the age of 38. Despite the doctors' best efforts, they were unable to revive him.

Following this, I attended a university in Brisbane, Australia, where I dove into rigorous studies in physics and mathematics, subjects that would pave the way for a career in astrophysics. Coincidentally, my late uncle's former boss, a professor of biochemistry, was teaching at the same university. He remembered my uncle and his untimely passing.

This professor taught biochemistry, a fundamental subject for fields such as medicine, dietetics, and nutrition. Witnessing people around me succumbing to cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks, often due to poor dietary habits and high cholesterol, I was inspired to become a dietitian in 1988.

Sadly, I was too late to help my relatives on my Greek side of the family, who had already fallen victim to cardiovascular diseases. Throughout my career with NSW Health, private practice, WA Health, and Queensland Health, I was known for my tireless work ethic. My motivation was the thousands of people in the Outback who desperately needed dietary guidance but were receiving none.

I also worked extensively with Aboriginal nutrition, training numerous health workers in Western Stride and the remote Pilbara. Recognizing the immense need, I decided to double or even triple my efforts, working as hard as two or three therapists. This intense workload eventually led to burnout, which I experienced several times due to lack of sleep and the demands of both programming and clinical work.

In retrospect, I can say I understand what it means to work as if your life depends on it. While the pay was substantial and my second wife enjoyed the financial benefits, I later discovered her dishonesty.

About 30 years ago, I merged my passion for programming with my expertise in nutrition, creating educational software to guide people in making healthier dietary choices, hoping to prevent them from suffering the same fate as my Greek relatives.

With over fifty-two years of programming experience since 1972, and thirty-five years as a dietitian since 1988, I believe I am creating a valuable platform for individuals to manage their health.

May God bless you!
James Constantine Frangos.
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Michael’s Answer

Hi Jaidan,

My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Business Administration (MBA - Management). My career first started out as a Computer Statistical Analyst for a Market Research firm. The position was an opportunity to utilize what I learned from my business classes in college. But, a majority of my learning was through on the job training and mentoring from senior staff members. Through the years and changes in the economy, various positions were held from Customer Service, Resource Management and Data Analytics.

One's career path is always in flux. Constant learning and adapting to one's environment are necessary for professional development, growth and advancement. One should always keep moving forward no matter how many obstacles that life puts along the career journey.

I am a Consultant in Corporate Finance. Daily activities include project management, data analysis, collaboration with team members and partners, summary analysis reports and presentations, etc. The majority of my responsibilities center around telling the story behind the data and utilizing visualization tools like Tableau and Qlik to achieve this goal. My inspiration comes from making sense of jumbled up data and producing analysis reports and presentations that have a positive impact on the financial health of the company.

Working for a major corporation, there are opportunities for one to take advantage of for professional growth and development. Job shadowing, tuition reimbursement, position rotations, etc. will provide one to learn more about the various positions within the company, network, learn what is required from experience to education, etc. My current company encourages advanced degrees, certifications and other means for professional growth and development. The career journey is constantly evolving.

Best wishes in your future endeavors and career goals!
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Armando’s Answer

I had a difficult time obtaining nutritious food as a kid and wish that on no one else. I turned my gears toward nutrition to learn more about situations like myself and to help others find a healthy life through good food choices.
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Robert’s Answer

I always enjoyed business and entrepreneurship. I come from several generations of business owners, so it was a world that was familiar to me. Also, I like the idea of taking a limited amount of resources and making it into something greater while working with people towards a common goal.
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Mickael’s Answer

My current career, personally, was more about opportunities than taste. This is clearly not the career I planned when I attended college.

I was always interested in Electricity and electronic, and also like computers. I started to get a Master Degree in electrical engineering when electricity told me to go away. So I did computer science, which in a way is only electric signals getting through based on code. So not that far. The idea of attending college is I wanted a job that was interesting, and since I like problem solving / design, I needed to have some high degree to be able to design after school. Also, I loved science so I wanted to learn a lot about it. And finally, there was of course the wages that would rise quickly (in my mind) if I had a higher degree than lower because I wanted to have a big family so I wanted to be able to sustain them.


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Waleska’s Answer

While in an internship program in High School, I knew I was interested in the field I am in. I attended college and majored in Business Admin which allowed me to gain a variety of skills I have been able to use in my profession and the various roles I have had in my career as well as in my personal interests. If one day I choose to pursue my interest into a business venture, the skills I gained throughout my career and college courses will definitely help me.
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Ann’s Answer

I always new I wanted to work in an office and work with numbers so I took a couple of accounting courses at the local community college. Turns out, I hated accounting. I was so bored with it and knew I couldn't spend 40 hours a week the rest of my working life doing that. So I spent several years working in other positions before landing a job working at a local hospital.

I knew immediately I wanted to continue working in a hospital. I absolutely loved the environment and the many opportunities it presented career wise. I spent a few years working as a secretary and admin assistant before I heard about medical coding. I started asking questions and researching and knew it was what I wanted to spend the rest of my working life doing. Working with numbers, working in healthcare and working in an office! I enrolled in classes through the hospital and local college, and have been working as a medical coder, then auditor and now coding manager since.

I've since taken college classes to learn other areas of coding and managing and continue to take courses that relate to my career because the more I know the more valuable I am to my employer, which is true of any occupation. I'm still always thinking of the next move up and learning what I need to learn to help make that happen.

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