In the last several months, I’ve learned that progress takes time, intense focus and grace! Progress happens in small increments over time to where it may be imperceptible in the moment until one day, you find yourself contributing in ways you never thought of before.  Or, you’re looking at a completed work that you never would have been able to do a short time ago.

One recent example occurred at my day job.  I was invited to a meeting in the Data Analytics Division by a colleague and friend who shares my passion for innovation and bringing projects to fruition.  She is heading up a team of people undertaking an enormous project that is a key piece of a revolutionary system that will change fire service operations for years to come!  Wow, right?  She saw potential in me and asked me to join their kick-off meeting so I could learn more about their project.  My intent was to observe the meeting and see if there were any real opportunity for me to contribute down the road.  I was pleasantly surprised when I had something of real value to contribute, not once but several times during the meeting.  She smiled at me and commented encouragingly “school helps”, knowing that I am attending the User Experience Design course at CareerFoundry.  Learning helps indeed!

What will this amount to in the future?  I don’t know.  For now, I am happy to be a part of it.  If all I gain is a bit of real world experience to pair with my studies, it’s well worth my time.  However, I hope my contributions will also benefit the eventual users of this industry-wide fire and life safety data system.