Beth Richardson

Senior Associate

Luther Consulting, LLC.

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"When I was about to graduate, my biggest fear was finding a job that I would find fulfilling and enjoy doing 40 hours a week.  After having several different classes at once on different subjects it was intimidating for me to think of doing the same thing all day, every day.  I also feared that I would burn out really quickly.  My advice is to try not to worry about it as there are very few jobs that will have you doing the same thing all the time.  It turns out that I needed to do database work, web programming, work with clients, prototyping and more . . .sometimes all in one day.  Boredom has never been an issue."


What was your major/minor at Purdue and when did you graduate?

I graduated in December of 2003 with a major in Computer Science and minors in Japanese and Spanish.


What drove you to pursue your current career path?

Programming is in my family.  I have been coding since I was 8 years old and have a father who teaches it as well as two brothers in computers, one of which is even my co-worker.   We always had a computer in my house, even back in the early 80s.  So I grew up loving it.


What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?

Right after graduating I did a small internship at Landis and Gyr in Lafayette.  I made a database for them to keep track of some of the clients.  During that time I was offered a project at the small company that eventually became my full time job.  They wanted me to write a dynamic reporting system for them where the users could design their own reports.  After a few months of working on that I was offered a temporary full time position, contingent on them having enough work to keep me busy as at the time they did not have even 1 full time programmer at the time.  I accepted that and since then the company has grown from 5 to 20 with 3 full time programmers. 


What are you currently working on?

We are working on final debugging and polishing of a major release to capture all the HIV testing and prevention data across the US for the Center of Disease Control (CDC).    This involves a lot of database work, front end development as well as the communication between the two.  The most challenging part though is keeping up with the ever changing requirements of working with several different groups within one agency.


Did you pursue internships/co-ops, research experiences, volunteer, or join student organizations while you attended Purdue?

I did a lot of work with one of the Tae Kwon Do organizations on campus.  I was their webmaster as well as did a lot of the organization while holding various officer positions.  I think it helped develop some social skills that would not have been used in CS classes.   It also exposed me to trying to keep several groups happy while adhering to some strict rules both of Purdue as well as a martial art.  I also worked for the Women in Science Programs (WISP).   Through that I learned valuable computer skills that I have used in my job daily, such as database work.  I also was exposed to many women in both undergraduate and graduate programs that inspired me to love science even more and find out opportunities for women in the various fields. 


What would you tell students about how to make the best use of what Purdue offers?

Get out and take advantage of all the great groups and clubs around.  It is a great time to experience things that may not be in your comfort bubble.  You will find out more about yourself, make lifelong friends and expand your horizons.

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