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Career Roadmap

Patricia's work combines: Business, Education, and Working with Others

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Day In The Life

Principal Operational Risk Spec - Retail Risk Mgmt

I protect customers and the business by helping the business manage regulatory risk.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Certification

    System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager

  • Certification

    Project Management

  • Associate's Degree

    Baker College of Flint

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Financial Risk Specialists:

High School

Bachelor's Degree: Business Administration and Management, General

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life took a while to figure out

  • 1.

    My education was messed up from moving often as a child so I redid some classes, then went to college.

  • 2.

    College gave me a place to work to overcome autistic tendencies and learn social interaction skills.

  • 3.

    Sometimes positive things can be a disruptor in life, it was in mine and contributed to my divorce.

  • 4.

    Moved to Washington DC, got my first banking job and found I enjoyed the industry.

  • 5.

    Moved to Capital One, a company that invests in its people. I began advancing from within.

  • 6.

    Found I loved the Operations side of the business, esp Risk & Process while working in Small Business.

  • 7.

    While pursuing certifications in SixSigma, made the connection that Risk Mgmt would fit my interests.

  • 8.

    Risk Management has proven to be my natural 'home'. It's the best of all of the worlds that I enjoy.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Family:

    You're a woman and there are only a few jobs that women should have. You can be a secretary, a nurse, or a teacher but that's it. If you do the right thing you'll get married, have kids, and stay at home.

  • How I responded:

    I had to realize my wanting more didn't make me bad or ungrateful. I was terrified - and gradually realized that was normal. The hardest thing was realizing the people trying to make me stay in the box weren't going to change. I had to accept I wasn't going to be supported by them. My change flamed their insecurities and they struck out. I had to learn to be smart about how I went about it. I found a trustworthy person to help navigate the waters. Finally, I had to just DO it and believe in me.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • My family was poor when I was a child. It taught me to expect scarcity. I've always been a hard worker, but I had to train myself to succeed by developing the tools of saving, having a trusted network, then taking calculated risks (ex. home ownership).

  • As a child I had most of the earmarks of being on the autism spectrum and had an incredibly hard time following conversations, interacting. Just surviving school hallways was rough. I taught myself to mimic successful people, then practice skills.