Olympia La Rose is a UN Delegate, Infrastructure Technology Engineering Consultant, and Freelance Résumé Writing Strategist. She has a technology licence degree and a graduate certificate in systems design and project leadership.
1. In layman’s terms, explain what you do as both a UN delegate and an IT consultant?
As a US delegate, I influence the intergovernmental relations related to women, UNGA, and various functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council.
As an IT consultant, I help my clients identify and solve their most critical information and technological challenges and design business solutions to meet bottom line
2. Why did you choose to become a delegate and Engineer?
I was elected as a delegate to ascribe my passion and public advocacy to influence UN good. Now, IT… It’s a love thing! I most certainly credit my grandmother who conduced my passion for solving problems. But my hands and brain are my greatest assets – Engineering enables me to use both. I love to grasp the mechanics of inoperable things and make them work. I truly enjoy what I do because it’s who I am.
3. What is your favorite aspect of each of your jobs?
Ah! As an Engineer, it is solving my clients’ challenges to give them a peace of mind. As a Delegate, it’s the ambassadorial approach to bring visibility of all the good the UN does with little. Imagine, the UN Peacekeeping budget equal what Americans spent on Easter candy alone in 2016. Yes, 2.4 Billion. Working with such awesome organization to improve civilization keeps me going.
4. What is the most challenging aspect of each of your jobs?
As a Tech, it is the unpredictability of tech and my day to day. Ha! As a delegate, it is the global confrontations of Trump’s erroneous campaign. Oh, and his Twitter.
5. What does being an Engineer mean to you?
I get to be the superwoman that I am! I love the cape and many hats. In fact, I cannot presently envision myself doing anything else. My profession complements my passion and personality quite well – grateful to God for that.
6. What roadblocks have you faced on your path to where you are today?
Wow. I can no longer recall how many times I’ve been asked this question but one thing I am certain of, the answer remains the same - the gender bias! Sometimes I’d like to think it’s the heels LOL because I would climb a ladder with them. Nevertheless, I have found strength and now know that I am subject to, but not limited by historical implications.
I embrace it – gold cannot be gold unless it has been through the fire.
7. What has been your greatest achievement in your career
I’ve created opportunities to work at the most prestigious companies in the nation in a male-dominant industry.
8. What do you believe is the most important thing for girls to know before pursuing computer science or engineering?
You’re a girl and that is all the permission you need to pursue your career.
9. How has your field changed in the last decade?
The paradigm shift of gender inclusion and cultural diversity because companies are now grasping the neutrality of tech. It is not a guy thing, it is not a girl thing, it’s an ‘I want to do IT’, thing.
10. How do you think your field will change in 10 years?
Technologically, it’s unpredictable. Culturally, companies will get IT. I do believe that women will hold more C-suite roles and spearhead the development of both civilization and technology.
11. What problem would you like to see solved by STEM in the next 10 years?
Fear! The gender crisis that intimidates our teenage girls and women. I want more women to get involved and cease suppressing their passion because of organized dominance. I want girls to get on board and help solve the most critical STEM challenges, especially in engineering.
12. What motivates you?
My passion. I am spontaneous, I tend to exploit the moment.
13. How do you define success?
My idea of success is good success in perpetuity. Life’s a purpose. When I eventually finish the work I was created to do, then, and only then, I would deem myself successful; otherwise, fulfilled.
14. What one discovery in science do you most admire and why? The unrefuted creativity of God. Unfathomable but perfect in its profundity. As cliché-ridden one may put it, our existence is not coincidental nor is it mysterious and science has proven that throughout history.
15. What one book do you recommend everyone read, and why? God’s Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace. A Cold Case Detective examines the evidence for a divinely created universe.
16. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Live purposefully! To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose.
17. If you could invent anything or make any discovery, what would it be and why?
Something to eradicate poverty. I do believe we have the manpower but devoid of the unanimity of the people.
18. If you could go back in time what advice would you give your high school self?
Ah. I wouldn’t and hoped not to. My today is because of my yesterday and I’ve accepted that path. It may not always be filled with roses but that also doesn’t mean that choosing another would have either. I am fulfilled and still fulfilling.
19. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful computer scientist?
- Radical thinking
20. How would you say your gender and race has impacted your experience as a scientist? What would you say to young girls who are worried about that clouding their careers?
Well, that is the same as my aforementioned sentiments on my career roadblocks. But my advice to girls and women is simple - take all the isms and build with incremental, constructive steps including yourself.
To reach out to Ms. LaRose, you can contact her via her LinkedIn