What is your name? Stephanie Williamson
Please tell us a bit about your history. Please include a bit about your educational background, your career path, and your family. I grew up in Austin and was very active in student government and other student run organizations in high school. I went to Texas A&M University and got bachelors in Finance; there too, I was very active in student run organizations. After graduation, I moved to Chicago to pursue a career in financial consulting. I traveled quite a bit, as my clients were in Boston and London. Chicago is a beautiful city but the winters were too harsh for me so I picked up and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a startup venture with a friend. I lived in Manhattan Beach, just outside of Los Angeles, for three years. I found myself back in Dallas almost two years ago pursuing the same type of work, primarily financial operations. My family is scattered mostly around Austin and Dallas. After being a flight away from my family for several years, it’s quite nice to be able to hop in the car for a visit.
How long have you volunteered with We Teach Science Foundation: This is my first time.
What most appealed to you about this program? Mostly the opportunity to mentor high school students in math; online. Math is a very important subject; the problem solving and critical thinking skills acquired through learning math will take you very far in your career and life.
What are some ways you use math at your job? When I was in financial consulting in Chicago, I used math or aspects of it almost daily while conducting data analysis. Running the startup business required me to understand math and finance to analyze the financials and make strategic decisions to grow the business.
Who was your favorite math or science teacher? Why? My favorite math teacher was my pre calculus teacher, Mrs. Anderson, my senior year of high school. She was very tough, the material was tough but I liked her because she was encouraging and believed in me. Second semester seniors had the option to be exempt from certain finals if they had a high enough grade point average. I remember telling her that I was not going to take her final because I was exempt and she said to me, “I know you will do well on this final if you just try.” Sometimes, someone believing in you is enough for you to push yourself the extra mile.
Why do you like math and science? What is your favorite math or science memory as a student? I really enjoyed math, not because I felt like I was good at it but because it was so challenging. Other subjects in school came easier because I could memorize things like historical facts (History) and grammar (English) but math helped me learn how to think logically and problem solve.
What are some things you struggled with growing up? What was hard for you in school? What are some things that are challenging for you now? Finding a balance between school, extracurricular activities, and working was something I often struggled with in high school. Oddly enough, creating a balance is something that I still struggle with now. Between working, training for triathlon, volunteering, and spending time with family, there isn’t much time left for anything else. The key is prioritizing and keeping a schedule.