Twenty years ago I received a letter that I thought would change my life. It was an acceptance to my choice university and with that I felt a world open up. 

The reality was, I struggled my way through, taking 5 years+ to finish a degree I could have done in 3. I received many grades with a F. I spent thousands retaking classes that I should have easily passed. Once I finished my degree, I didn't know what was next. 

By chance I read about a new program starting at our local trade school. It was a communications / PR diploma. I loved the sound of every course. I didn't love the perception of trade school itself. I signed up, was accepted and felt embarrassed about telling my friends what I was doing next. 

To my surprise, I had the best year of learning during my trade school year. It was practical, inspiring, and best of all, it was real. I could see a career that could be exciting and well paid with work I loved. During the course of that year I became an huge advocate for trade schools and to this day encourage everyone to look at them as a viable option to launch an amazing career. 

I am fully inspired by Jane Wurwand @Dermalogicajane who founded Dermalogica and works actively to raise awareness of trades and the need for advanced funding for community colleges and trade programs. Skills training is a fast path to the life you want and a career that fills you up. Thank you Jane for speaking continuously on this topic. 

Twenty years from the arrival of that university letter,  I get to lead a team of incredible professionals who work with the best high growth companies in the world. I love my career and the life I've been able to put together with my husband living in California. University was fine but trade school launched my career.