Career Quick Look
- AS in Electronics, AS in Process Control
Kimberly Cardosi's Resume
"Don't ever let anybody tell you you can't do it."
"Don't give in to [criticism], just keep working and doing
what you're supposed to do...they will calm down and accept
Getting Started: As a 22 year old single mother
of three young children, Kimberly Cardosi needed to change
careers to earn more money. She had been previously working
as a pharmacy clerk earning approximately $11,700 per
year, but a retail wage was simply not enough to support
her family. Feeling limited with only a General Education
Diploma and some word processing skills, Kimberly decided
to go back to school.
Education: In 1995, Kimberly met with a CCRI counselor
to explore her options. The counselor gave her an assessment
test that showed she excelled in math and science, and
recommended that she pursue a technology program at CCRI.
Kimberly had always had a curiosity about the way things
worked, often taking things apart to examine their components
and loved working on cars. Kimberly took some technology
courses and did well in them and so chose to pursue duel
Associate Degrees in Electronics and Process Control.
The extensive hands-on experience and support offered
by CCRI instructors gave Kimberly the technology background
she needed to get a job after graduation at Keltron Corporation
doing electronic equipment repair and maintenance. After
working at Keltron for a year, Kimberly's degrees in Process
Control and Electronics from CCRI paid off with an entry-level
job as a calibration technician at Thermo BLH, Inc. Within
a year, Kimberly's hard work and persistence earned her
a promotion to the position of software developer at Thermo
BLH, where she now earns over $40,000 a year.
Greatest Professional Achievement: Kimberly considers
her promotion to be her greatest professional accomplishment.
The Vice President of Engineering at Thermo BLH asked
her to work for him in Engineering instead of taking a
job with Field Service when she was still relatively new
to the company. She had very little experience working
with code, but she succeeded and was given a good raise.
Kimberly is proud to serve as a WomenTech role model,
showing other women and girls the possibilities in pursuing
Barriers: Many of Kimberly's family and friends
tried to discourage her from electronics, saying that
she shouldn't and couldn't do it. But Kimberly's natural
persistence and positive experience at CCRI helped to
build her confidence and drove her to excel and succeed.
Working with Men: Kimberly is the only female among
her co-workers. At first, the men were "not thrilled"
about having a woman among their ranks and only left her
the smaller, less significant projects to work on. Realizing
this was not the way to excel in a new company and a new
profession, Kimberly worked harder than her male counterparts
and pushed her supervisor to give her more meaningful
projects, which would allow her to prove herself. Having
exhibited her abilities, Kimberly is now considered a
team player and can tease her co-workers in the spirit
of good fun if they try to interfere with her work, such
as preventing her from lifting heavy objects.
Advice for Women: Electronics is a "tough field,"
says Kimberly, because it is a quickly and constantly
changing industry. It is still male-dominated and women
sometimes do have to work harder to prove their abilities.
But Kimberly found that women are excellent at electronics
and possibly even better than men are. She noticed that
the few other women in her courses at CCRI were right
with her at the head of the class and did better overall
academically. For women working mainly with males or pursuing
technology paths, Kimberly advises, "Don't give in to
them. Keep on working and doing what you're supposed to
do. After showing them up enough times, they'll calm down
and accept you."
Typical Workday/Environment: Kimberly's typical
day involves working with assembly code, helping to write
software for weighing systems and reworking PC boards
for testing. Her job is highly technical involving much
detailed work with computers and some hands on activities,
such as reworking the PC boards. Much of her work is independent,
but she must also function as a team player on group projects.
Kimberly works in the front offices at Thermo BLH, so
the environment is mainly corporate. She wears slacks
and a button down shirt, but is allowed casual attire
Career Ladder: Starting salary for a technician-level
job in the electronics industry typically begins around
$25,000-$30,000 per year. An advancement to programming
may bring in around $40,000 per year. Management positions
usually start around $50,000 per year and can grow well
in excess of that. Your salary and the speed of your advancement
in the industry largely depends on the position you hold
and the size and type of company that you work for.
Professional Associations: None
Hobbies: For relaxation, Kimberly likes to play
golf and go fishing. She also enjoys sharing her technical
knowledge by repairing and upgrading computers for family
and friends. Kimberly also believes in using her spare
time to upgrade her skills. She is currently taking a
programming class at home.
*Annual salary number is not the role model's actual salary. Salary for Software Developer based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, National Compensation Survey: Occupational Wages in the United States, June 2007.