Los Angeles

MENTOR NETWORK

Profile Picture

Paul Andres '81

He/Him/His

Location Icon

Altadena, CA

Oxy Major/Minor:  

Biology

Current Company:

Jet Propulsion Lab/CalTech

Current Position:

Senior Member Technical Staff

Campus Involvement/Special Programs:

Residence Hall Staff (RA & HR), Intramurals (Football, Basketball)

Secondary Schooling:

Studied at University of Washington, Cal State LA and UCLA (computer science)

Favorite MP/Cooler Food:

Celery

Best Oxy Class:

Ecology (Dr. Keeley), Psych (Dr. Cole), LA Architecture (Dr. Winter)

Groups I Identify With:

Any!

Bio:

I am a generalist who had no well determined path at Oxy or immediately thereafter. Bio major at Oxy, worked in hospitals post graduation, applied to med-school and did not get in. Returned to school thinking about teaching. Taught 2 years of high school math and met my wife. Returned to school to study computer science at Cal State LA and was in a masters program at UCLA when I got married, got hired at JPL and started a family in 1989. Worked in the Image Processing Lab at JPL for over 30 years, on orbiting and landed spacecraft projects. Mentored and managed many younger JPL employees. Retired in February 2021. Oxy provided me with many invaluable experiences and opportunities and I would enjoy the opportunity to help others manage the transition from college to professional life.

Career Advice:

Some seem to know what they want to do at an early age and their paths are well defined. Others are left to figure out their path trying things until they identify what best fits their character and interests. Challenges exist along both paths, both external and internal.

It is important to keep moving, learning and exposing yourself to different options. Don't talk yourself out of possibilities. Learn what you don't like to do as well as what you do like. Both can be equally important. Don't be in a hurry to find the ideal job right after graduation. There is value and wisdom gained from taking the long way to finding a career.