“Guiding Me Through the Process”

The transition between childhood and adulthood is a strange experience. It seems like something that happens while you aren’t looking. You just wake up one day and you realize that someone decided you were an adult, but they forgot to send you the memo. This is what happened to me when I found myself facing my career rather than just dreaming about it. When I think of mentors, I think of the person who guided me through this experience: Drury alumnus Jason Lowenthal ’07.

In the summer of 2013, right before my junior year, I desperately needed a part-time job. As a computer science major, I had hoped to find an internship that would provide me with some experience in the programming industry. Eventually, I came into contact with Jason, who was working as a senior programmer at O’Reilly Auto Parts. With his help, I was able to get a position as an intern software developer with him as my supervisor.

Over the next year and a half, I not only improved as a programmer with Jason’s help, but also as a person getting ready to enter the real world. I learned how to work in an office setting, how to meet deadlines and how difficult it is to find an hour when everyone is available so I could schedule a meeting. Most important, Jason taught me how to learn in the first place. When I began the internship, I was too scared to try new things. After all, I was just an intern. Jason helped me gain the confidence to ask questions and take risks. Eventually, I noticed that I had grown so much since I started. I began feeling as if I had completed the transition from childhood to adulthood. Thankfully, Jason was there to make the process as smooth as possible.