Weekend Wisdom

Natalie Enright Jerger ’98

Be your own advocate.”
“I was interested in pursuing engineering long before there was an emphasis on STEM education. There was a need to forge my own path at Kent Place, but at every step, I had amazing teachers. They didn’t try to fit me into some box or mold me into something that wasn’t right for me. They advocated for me and — more important — taught me to advocate for myself.  

“Over my almost 20-year career in computer architecture (innovation in the design of computer processors), I’ve struggled to fit into a profession that’s overwhelmingly male. Self-doubt and the imposter syndrome creep in from the isolation and lack of role models. Advocating for myself and embracing what’s different about me enabled me to first persevere and then excel. I’ve also found in my community tremendous mentors who continue to hone the confidence KPS instilled in me.

“Kent Place celebrated the unique value that each one of us brought to campus. Diversity is an essential component of innovation. Without the foundation I received at KPS, I wouldn’t have achieved what I have, nor made substantial contributions to computing technologies, which underpin so many other scientific and societal advances. Most important, I can teach my undergraduate and graduate students to advocate for themselves and their place in engineering.”

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.