Meet our newest employees – up close and personal

Part two of our three-part series on Graduate Development Program (GDP) graduates

The Graduate Development Program (GDP) Class of 2015 went from eight weeks’ summer orientation across the company, to their ‘steady day jobs’ this month. They love the program and the company (see recent Infonet news article). Now, see what they’re like outside of work in our second article of a three-part series …

Jill Ceplinskas
Associate Analyst, IS Planning and Performance Management

If you were to hike the Adirondack Trail, what would your trail name be?
Definitely, Jilldozer.

Jill CeplinskasWho’s your personal hero?
It may seem cliché, but I look up to my mom. We both value a work-life balance and she’s shaped her career successes to allow herself to integrate as much family time as possible into her day-to-day schedule. My sister and I were both very active in school clubs and sports throughout high school and she was at almost every single game or event.

Do you have an interest your coworkers might be surprised about?
Ninety-five percent of the television I watch is HGTV. I’m obsessed with anything related to interior decorating, real estate, architecture or home improvement.

What’s your favorite ‘band’ and why?
I’ve really gotten into EDM [Electronic Dance Music] over the past few years and Alesso has remained one of my favorite DJs.

Luis Rodriguez
Telecommunications, University of Rhode Island, Electrical Engineering

Luis RodriguezWhat’s one word that describes you best?

What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving, because of all the delicious food

Who’s your personal hero?
Jesus Christ

James Bell

New Products – Technical Market Strategy & Policy (Customer)

James BellWhat was your biggest adventure?
This question is in the past tense; however my biggest adventure ‘was’, ‘is’, and always ‘will be’. Stuttering has been an enormous mountain in my life. The involuntary repetition or blocking of sounds with facial grimaces is no pretty sight. At the beginning of my trek, humiliation, embarrassment and social anxiety made my path impassable and left me feeling hopeless. Kids in high school can be ruthless and brutal. Name-calling and laughter was a common occurrence.

When I began college, thinking about the future was inevitable. Many questions and thoughts ran through my head: ‘How would I get a job as a stutterer? No company would ever think of hiring a stutterer. Interviews are difficult, period – I could never impress anyone while stuttering!’ It was difficult being unable to articulate my ideas and express myself fluently, but I found aspirations.

I was beginning to climb my mountain. Slowly, I began to see the beautiful, luscious, green mountain landscape, and the air was becoming more crisp and fresh as I ascended.

I learned fluency techniques and transformed my mentality to actively manage my speech. Practicing my fluency ‘tools’ every day became routine. Things like advertising my stuttering before I spoke would prevent listener confusion and misunderstanding. Even simple things like maintaining eye contact and good posture dramatically improved my communication effectiveness.

The sun was beginning to shine as I broke through the clouds and journeyed above the mountain tree line. During the years climbing to the summit, my perseverance and fortitude were tested. When I finally reached the peak, the inhale of fresh, clean, crisp air was exhilarating. The accomplishment allowed me to conquer personal and professional goals – especially interviews.

I reflect upon my adventure’s summit during tough times, because a stutterer’s journey never ends. Occasionally, there will be valleys I must pass, but using fluency techniques with the support from my colleagues is enough to get me through anything.

My biggest adventure has, is, and will continue to foster my character. I am grateful for the experience because I became something I am incredibly proud to be – an energy engineer!

What’s one word that describes you best?

Watch for the next article in our series, where you’ll meet more GDP employees!

In case you missed it, read Part one of the GDP series


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