Today, getting an education is the price of entry into the workplace. Education has evolved over the last 25 years since I attended college. Today I am so pleased to see more women pursuing STEM college degrees that ultimately can be applied in a variety of fascinating industries.

I believe that young women should be encouraged and inspired at an early age to embrace science and math. It starts with making these subjects interesting to young children. While science and math can be challenging subjects to learn, the value comes from learning and “connecting the dots” between theory and real world applications.

Based on my experience with interns over the past few years, I am very impressed with their level of maturity and their understanding of real work expectations and relationships. Colleges are doing a much better job preparing graduates to leverage technology tools. I am also very impressed with their presentation skills and ability to work in teams.

Today, we are operating in a global business environment. Therefore, curriculums should link traditional academic subjects with how to compete in a global economy. Importantly, this includes understanding and embracing diversity as it relates to various cultures around the world. College degrees that provide practical business applications coupled with building strong leadership attributes will provide a much richer learning experience for students, which is critical to today’s workforce.

My advice to young women is obtaining a college or higher-level education is important. Explore a number of different subjects to find what interests you the most. I started out in engineering, but found math far more exciting. Find out what you are most passionate about and look for interests that you really enjoy. Once you enter the professional world and you land on a career or profession you love, you will add many more years of happiness to your life. Look for people that can help and guide you. Don’t limit yourself to the possibilities. I have had wonderful mentors over the years and I am very grateful for all they taught me. And keep your priorities straight: family first, work second.