JWG (jwg) wrote,
JWG
jwg

My first job

Yesterday susandennis posted a "What was your First Job, and did you like it".

My first job was when I looked like this icon- I worked for my father (his food exporting business) addressing envelopes for Christmas cards to his customers. I was paid a token payment.

My firsr real job - sort of - was a a camp councillor at a summer camp - actually two camps, for 7 years. Job? it was lots of fun getting paid to have a summer away from the city, hiking, canoeing, being among a nice set of peopke - kids and peers.

While in grad school at Columbia (Physics) I had a part-time teaching 7th and 8th grades science. It was enjoyable and hard. At the end of that year I decided I didn't want to be a teacher, a physicist, or a mathemetician. While agonizing about what to do - and not get drafted, my father said "you should take a computer programming course" (this was in 1961). I did in the fall and after about 4 weeks I knew what I wanted to do for my career. In the spring I took several more as a special student at MIT thinking about continuing there, but I applied for a real job. The other one-sentence piece of advice from my father that I remember was when I was thinking about where to apply to college, my father said "you are going to MIT"

I was hired. I got a verbal offer at the interview and on the way home I stopped at a bank to get a loan application. When I got the real offer and accepted it and shortly after this I took out the loan and bought my first new car, an MG-A. The job was to write the code-generator for a Fortran Compiler and started in June 1962. I loved it, the project, my peers, and was good at it. A more detailed description of that project. This was really my first real job. And thus my career was really launched.
Tags: career, personal
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