It was a happy accident that my career path led me into the analytics field. I started my career around 18 years ago as a programmer analyst for United Space Alliance (USA). USA was the largest NASA contractor responsible for the code and maintenance of the space shuttle. I loved computer science and decided to stay very technical at that point in my career and went back to school to finish my masters in computer science from Western Kentucky University.
After completing my master’s degree I went to work at the global manufacturer and distributor, Fruit of the Loom. At Fruit of the Loom, I had the opportunity to work in various roles with increasing levels of responsibilities. I was promoted into management and led the Russell Athletic eCommerce team, Business Intelligence team, Data Warehousing team, and Quality Assurance team. During my tenure as the head of BI and Data Warehousing I learned how analytics could make a huge business impact when best practices were employed and the business team was engaged and partnered throughout the analytic process. And if given a chance I would like to use my analytics experience for protecting our natural resources. I hope the day comes soon!
I believe the world is at our feet and we just have to look beyond the fear of failure. For me it’s just about trying, failing, learning, reflecting, succeeding and repeating. Don’t you think we learn so much more from our failures than our successes? I certainly have made a plenty of mistakes but that hasn’t contained my zeal to learn. As Mahatma Gandhi once quoted, “You decide how you feel, no one can decide for you. All the tendencies are present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” So yes, I approach life with an autodidactic attitude and this quote helps me to stay true to my reality and guides me to control and choose the way of responding to any challenges.
You know, my father instilled the habit of reading in me at a very young age. I remember being four years old and reading my first book cover to cover and was hooked at that point. For me, education was not an option but something that you owed yourself to work hard for to succeed and take care of yourself. My parents were teenagers when they married and had me. My mother was still in high school my father was a freshman in college. They each worked at least two jobs each to take care of me and instill deep work ethic that is bound to the fibers of my DNA.
Right now, I am a mother and wife and my devotion to my family and their happiness defines me. Mentoring, teaching, and spending time with my children are infinitely rewarding. My husband and I enjoy learning nuances of different cultures and customs. I have a strong penchant towards artistic pursuits such as painting and photography. The kinetic process of starting with a blank canvas, painting with vibrant colors transforming the canvas into a vehicle of feeling and emotion gives you a great feeling. Acrylic pour paintings are my current interest. You know what my husband says? He says they remind him of topographic maps from satellite images! Funny, right?
Meet Alisha Witty Thompson: A hobby painter, insatiable reader, and doting mother