During the past year, Stacy Becker gave a commencement address at her alma mater.
“I know that 15 years ago, when I graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran College with my degree in English and theatre, I didn’t plan to be a product manager, running scrum teams in India and China for an ed tech software company. I don’t think I even knew what most of those words meant!"
Women in STEM don’t always have a direct path to a role in technology or science. In fact, Stacy always thought she’d have a career in higher education.
“I had every intention of staying in higher-ed until a former boss and mentor convinced me I should consider a move to technology,” said Stacy. “I saw it as temporary and believed I’d eventually return to higher ed. Now, after being at Watermark, I realize I can expand my range beyond project management in higher ed to anything in education, technology, or beyond.”
After graduation, she managed projects at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, MO, then started as a project coordinator at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. Her boss became a great mentor who encouraged her to indulge her love of data and information systems, ultimately leading her to a role that “translated” technology to her higher education peers.
She joined Watermark in a client success management role, then gravitated to Associate Product Manager, where she helps translate client needs into engineering projects that result in products purpose-built for higher ed.
Image of Stacy Becker's commencement address at Wisconsin Lutheran College, in which she spoke about her winding path post-graduation and how students can find their fit.
Stacy's favorite part of her job is being the liaison and even translator between technical and non-technical internal audiences. “Frankly, I didn’t realize I was good at this until I got into it. I was always good at Excel and other programs, and was the main liaison for IT and institutional research in higher ed, but just didn’t see the connection!”
She recently led an accessibility team focused on making Watermark products fully accessible for users who are blind, hearing or movement-impaired. “One of the coolest things is discovering that making your product accessible makes it easier to use for everyone – even for those who don’t need assistive technologies.”
Stacy Becker’s direct experience in higher ed and her specific talents make her the perfect fit as a Watermarker dedicated to creating solutions to fit the specific needs of higher education administrators.
She has advice for today’s students who may want to work in the tech field: “Do the things that are of interest to you, have experiences that you find interesting, and trust that you will find something that makes sense. The role I have right now, in the way it exists today, didn’t exist in college before, so there would be no way to take the right class to be qualified for this position. That’s just the way our world is today.”
Thanks for sharing your story, Stacy!
To learn more about Watermark's focus on accessibility, read our blog here.
Image of Stacy Becker with her family.