Neumont University Introduces Cool Neumont Grad Nadine Whitfield

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Breaking racial and gender stereotypes, beating average salaries and living above the outsourcing line.

I saw how the Post Office was using technology, and I quickly became intrigued

Neumont University, offering accelerated Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Master of Business Administration degrees, today introduced role model and ‘cool Neumont grad’ Nadine Whitfield.

For Nadine it began in the Oakland, California Post Office. She did not come to buy stamps. Rather, she was working full-time to supplement her music career with employment at the U.S. Postal Office.

Nadine Whitfield, a native of Walnut Creek, California, had graduated from Cal State Hayward with a music degree and was working at the United States Postal Office before she discovered her passion for technology.

“I saw how the Post Office was using technology, and I quickly became intrigued,” Nadine stated. “It’s as though I saw the handwriting on the wall, telling me to move in that direction.”

Nadine joined the Air National Guard and received valuable technical training as she served her country. Moving into computer messaging systems in the communications center, Nadine learned the fundamentals of computer hardware and networking. Advanced training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi continued to feed her appetite for learning.

After training in the Guard, her value to the Post Office in Oakland grew and Nadine began looking for a computer science degree program that made sense for career development. During her search for the right program, Nadine was activated and served for eight months in Sacramento and the U.S. Air Force Safety Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But during her active duty, Nadine continued to gain an in-depth look at IT as she worked at the Help Desk and developed a taste for “project-based” learning. It was there she developed her first substantial database project.

Upon completion of her service, Nadine explored technology programs at CSU Sacramento, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Cal State Hayward and San Francisco State University. Then she found Neumont University.

Neumont University – the facilitator

“All of the other schools seemed to focus on theoretical IT applications. Neumont definitely stood out as focusing students on current, relevant projects from the real-world," said Nadine. “I did not want to only learn assembly language; I wanted to learn .Net.”

Neumont University educates the most sought-after software developers. The Salt Lake City campus offers an accelerated 30-month Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree, and MBA degrees in one- and two-year formats. Neumont University is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). It is committed to preparing students for today's demanding technology careers.

While enrollment is down nationwide in college and university computer science programs, Neumont University’s enrollment is growing because its curriculum focuses on skills that have been proven difficult to send offshore. The school prepares in-demand computer science graduates with advanced technical and business skills that greatly reduce the on-the-job training now required for graduates from other programs. Some of the careers in software development include software engineer, systems architect, web development, systems analyst, data modeler, and programmer/analyst.

Graduation and Work – the new life

Breaking the stereotype that “girls can’t do math” or “aren’t well-suited” for “techy” jobs, Nadine completed Neumont’s rigorous coursework in 25 months and accepted a position as software engineer with L3 Communications West of Salt Lake City prior to graduation.

“Nadine has set a high standard for other students to follow,” stated Julie Blake, Senior Vice President for Enrollment of Neumont University. “Her work ethic fit well into the challenging Neumont program to achieve both business and technical skills that will keep her in demand for her entire career. We are excited to watch her full potential unfold.”

L3 Communications West looks to Neumont to provide highly skilled software engineers in an area where the U.S. has demonstrated it has a significant competitive advantage. According to U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer software engineers, such as those prepared by Neumont, are expected to experience one of the fastest-growing occupations through 2014.

Opening Doors

“Neumont University has opened a lot of doors that wouldn’t have been available through another school,” Nadine stated. “I can now see myself as a CIO in California in 10 – 15 years, but I would have never dreamed of that before coming to Neumont.”

Nadine is an example of the many cool graduates leaving Neumont this year. More are in development and more are coming. Nadine credits much of her learning to the feeling of being thrown into the deep water and forced to sink or swim. Fortunately, in her case, she swam.

“You are treated like an employee at Neumont,” Nadine said. “If you miss one day, it’s like missing a week of school at a regular university. But in the end it is completely worth it.”

About Neumont University

Neumont University is educating the most sought-after software developers. The Salt Lake City campus offers accelerated 30-month Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degrees and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees in one- and two-year formats. Neumont University is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Some of the careers in software development include software engineer, systems architect, web development, systems analyst, data modeler, and programmer/analyst. http://www.neumont.edu

*Spring 2006 graduate salary data; The University does not guarantee placement for future graduates; Detailed placement data available at the Office of Admissions

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