From Imposter Syndrome to Ivy League

Jeovane Slater-Taylor : Membership Chair at NSBE DC

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Myspace was the reason I got interested in STEM, back when everyone my age was an entry-level web developer and had no idea. After the Myspace wave died and everyone had moved on to Facebook, the concept of coding and web development stuck with me. I took a new web development course offered in my high school and I carried that passion with me into college. I’m pursuing a Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering from Cornell University. I never actually thought I’d be here. I almost allowed Imposter Syndrome to prevent me from applying in the first place. My grades in undergrad were all over the place but mostly just average. I never thought they were good enough for an Ivy, but the program really interested me and aligned with the vision I had for myself, so I went for it. Now, I’m in semester 2 of 4 and prayerfully May 2020 I’ll have a master’s from Big Red.

Working in STEM has not been without its challenges. I often call myself a triple threat minority; I’m young, I’m black, AND I’m a woman. I’ve worked for companies/teams that I knew within the first few weeks this was not an ideal space for me, but I listened to everyone who told me how bad it would look to leave a job too soon and I stayed and was miserable. I’ve also worked with other teams I loved but didn’t feel challenged. Most recently, it’s been an issue of despite being super talented and great at my job, I felt undervalued as an employee. My career has had many challenges and I’ve come to learn that it comes with the territory. It’s my job to find a role that fits and until then I just have to keep rolling with the punches.