A Grad with a top job at Boeing

Theo Blount is a May graduate with a top job at Boeing.

In a few weeks, Theo Blount will begin working for Boeing’s Flight Control Unit. He’ll join Boeing’s Information Technology Career Foundation Program, where he’ll be groomed for management He'll be based in South Carolina. 

He graduated in May but had the job lined up before he graduated.  Earlier in the year he attended a career fair at a a National Society of Black Engineer's conference. Boeing was there recruiting students and they interviewed Theo. They were impressed with his resume and his problem-solving abilities and they hired him.

Theo, who was an Information Systems major, credits NJIT with giving him the education needed to succeed in the workplace. He was also recently accepted into the Ph.D. program in Information Systems at NJIT, so his tie with the school  continues.

During his undergraduate years at NJIT, he was involved in a myriad of actives and programs.  Last year, Theo was invited to speak about his achievements before a group of NJIT donors. During his speech, he talked about his early life and struggles in Jamaica, and how NJIT became his “platform” for a better life and social mobility.  What follows is Theo’s speech -- his life story in his own words. .

“Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen!

Being Jamaican born and bred I knew a thing or two about striving for my goals, through hard work. After the passing of my father, my mother relocated to the United States and was unable to bring me along for the ride, due to the government system at that time. However, she left me in the capable hands of my dear grandmother and aunt, who always made me work for things that I wanted. Instilling in me, that nothing comes easy in life and that hard work is the key to my future and I am the only one that holds that key. With those teachings in mind I finally relocated to the United States to be with my mother and now sister (who I love dearly), to continue to make a name for myself. I saw this as a new platform; to recreate myself, to continuously challenge myself, and strive to become better.

My interest in computers came about from when I was living in Jamaica. Although I was interested in this field, it was close to impossible to become personal with it, due to the lack of the technological advancement. The United States platform allowed me to go to a high school (Passaic County Technology Institute) where I studied computer science. By this time I was aware of what career path I wanted to take and that was dealing with computers. During my freshmen year of high school, I was introduced to an EOP recruiter from NJIT. It was then I realize that NJIT was where I wanted to continue education. So, from freshmen year all the way to my Senior year of High School, I would either email or call him to not only make note of my academic progress, but to also remember my name when it came time to send out those acceptance letters.

NJIT with its diverse cultures and ideas creates an environment that to me is incomparable to any other universities, thus begetting a melting pot environment. To me, NJIT exemplifies multi-diversity with cultures that can be described as a pot of soup, containing an assortment of different seasonings. With each seasoning incorporating a different flavor and purpose, as sugar is used to sweeten while salt is used to balance a taste.

I am always ready to rise to the occasion and contribute the best possible help that I can; wanting to be a small part of a big difference in this community. I consider myself to be the seasoning, the salt because it adds a sense of complexity and depth within the present flavors and entwines all the ingredients to make the pot flavorful. When I started attending NJIT I determined that I wanted to add my flavor to this prestigious community and not try to overpower the other cultures, beliefs, and ideas; I wanted to develop an understanding and appreciation for the people around me and enhance the structure of the community as a whole, in any way possible, whether it was small or big.

Scholarships from EOP, NACME and BETAA were the entities that allowed me not only to focus on my studies and earn good grades, great mentorship, but also gave me the opportunity to add my seasoning by being involved the school’s various diverse organizations, such as: McNAir Scholar program, Educational Opportunity program, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Caribbean Students Organization (CaribSO), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and The Empowerment Association Movement, just to name a few. Not only that I had the wonderful opportunity to work on a Research project with the Chair of the Department of Information Systems. Being a part of these organizations and research project helped to mold my diligent, amiable, and humbling characteristics. And it’s with great pride that I put a smile on my face and I say thank you because if it wasn’t for donors like you, it wouldn’t have been possible for a student like me to be able to do all of this and perform to the best of my ability.

There are three D’s in Life that puts me in the right path of life and they are Desire, Determination, and Dedication. I believe that there is no hard-to-reach goal to achieve life because “The harder the battle the sweeter victory”. The desire to understand the inner working of computers, the determination to make my dear mother proud, and the dedication I have in creating a successful atmosphere and prosperous future.

Now I am at the intersection of finishing my undergraduate, start of graduate school and the rest of my life. With my desire, determination, and dedication I will take the path to graduate school to pursue my masters in Information Systems as well as working full time with Boeing; ultimately attaining my Ph.D. I do realize that this will be a challenge, however, the NJIT community, family, and the willpower has given me the resources and knowledge that I need to tackle these challenges and succeed in my future journeys.”

By Robert Florida