Michele Theroux ('07)
Michele's employer, McLaughlin Research Corporation, provides engineering and technical support services for the U.S. Navy. Michele is currently working at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center as a Torpedo Analyst--an underwater rocket scientist! She reports, "I would have to say that the role that my math training plays in my job is mainly that it taught me how to think analytically. It has also been helpful for writing and editing computer scripts. We use MatLab on a daily basis, and I have to be able to use the program, write scripts to make the analysis process more efficient and edit scripts as things change."
Despite the fact that her current work is quite applied, her favorite math class at W&L was Abstract Algebra with Professor Dymacek. "The material was challenging, but I found it very interesting and I really enjoyed Professor Dymacek.''
Michele has also started her own business. Last year, she started baking cakes for her colleagues' birthdays. The cakes received rave reviews and eventually people started asking if they could buy them from her, and so she decided to start her own cake business, Frosted Fancies.
Michele has the following advice for students, "You really just have to work hard at college and then be patient. You might not find the right job right away, but you just have to keep looking and don't get discouraged. I took a year off and got a job as a nanny after graduation. During that year I looked through classified ads and went online, but I didn't really see too much that interested me. However, I kept my hope up, continued looking and found a job that was perfect. At my interview they were really impressed with the classes I took at college and within a month of seeing the job ad, I started working!"