Alejandro Ramirez

Alejandro Ramirez

City and state: Harahan, LA

High school attended: Lakes High School

Graduation year: 1999

Colleges attended/degrees earned:

  • Hawaii Pacific University, Bachelor of Science
  • University of New Orleans, Master of Science in Engineering Management
  • John Hopkins University, Master of Applied Economics, Concentration in Financial Economics

Current career/job:

Engineer at Kongsberg, a Norwegian technology corporation.

Describe the path you took from high school graduation to where you are today:

I joined the US Air Force in 1999, was lucky and became stationed in Hawaii for four years. While in Honolulu, I worked at night for the Air Force and went to school during the day for a bachelor’s degree. After college graduation I completed the OCT exam but didn’t score high enough to become a military officer. Consequently, I decided to try my luck out of the military. After my military service I became employed as an engineer for a Norwegian company (Kongsberg), where I work to this date. Subsequently, I completed a master’s in engineering management and was later accepted to Johns Hopkins University to complete a master’s in applied economics.

How did your experiences in Clover Park School District help prepare you for this path?

Lakes High School was a stepping stone which allowed me to complete the requirements to join the US Air Force.

Who was the most influential teacher or administrator to you as a student in the district? Why?

I can’t remember his name, but it was my physics teacher. As a senior I asked him if I would be accepted to AP physics and he said I did not show to be capable due to my lack of knowledge in mathematics. Those words resonated and pushed me to do better so that next time I had a challenge my skills would not be a deterrent.

Do you have any favorite memories from when you attended school in Clover Park School District?

Now that I am 36 and my life is made up of travel, customers, business plans, budgets and so many other things that keep me busy, if I really think about it, the memory that stands out to me the most would be the times that I arrived early to school and was able to spend time in the cafeteria before the school became lively; while it was relatively peaceful. It was nice to see friends as they came in. I remember them coming to where I was sitting and having a small chat as we watched the school come alive.

What opportunities exist in your career sector for new graduates? Is postsecondary education required for this field?

My field requires an engineering degree. There are some exceptions made for people with extensive experience. However, it is not often that a person is at a high level in this field without a college education.