Interview with Laura Blanca

By pearl - October 24, 2018

 There is an African Joke that states " If you have known someone for a decade, they become family". That's exactly what Laura is to me; A special friend and sister. Laura and I have been besties since our college days. She was usually the other female in my engineering classes. Destiny kept us close together through the years because we both got jobs in the pacific northwest after graduation. Laura is one of the smartest, most organized and recently the best mama I know. She handles being a mom, just like many other aspects of her life "like a boss" that she is. I tried not to make that the only focus of this blog post, so she shares a few tips you will find useful especially if you are planning on or already have a little one.  

Laura Blanca obtained her Undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. She worked in varied roles in the tech industry for 4 years before taking some time off to start a family. Now a mom of two, Laura talks about the challenges of getting back into the workforce after taking a break and she gives some useful advice on how to pick a daycare. 

When  Is the Right Time to Return to work 

I wanted to be at home with my kids for as long as possible, but at the same time, I did not want to lose myself in my new role as a mom. So I had to pick a return time that was right for both me and my kids while being mindful of the fast moving pace of the Tech Industry. Also, I think daycare is a very important portion of a child's development. They get to develop social skills and learn how to communicate their needs. So, I gave myself until the twins turned 1 year old to put them in daycare and start job hunting.

Biggest fears about going back into the workforce  

 My biggest fear, without a doubt, is interviewing. Not just the prep work, but more importantly the actual interview itself. It is a huge source of anxiety for me. In addition to that, re-joining the works force, now means I work 2 jobs. There is a myriad of responsibilities to keep track of. I worry about finding time to cook, clean do laundry and other household chores, while still nurturing a good/healthy marriage, and most importantly enjoying the company of my children. I will have to figure out a way to combine all of these roles while still being my absolute best at work. I stress about the possibility of being able to do all of this daily, but I draw inspiration from the fact that I am not the first mom to return to work after taking some time off, and neither am I the last. I plan on following the popular advice of being organized, delegating and sharing the daily task with my husband, who has already been super supportive. 

How to pick a daycare

Picture of Laura's Twins at a pumpkin patch.
Picking a daycare is a tough decision because it becomes like a second home to your children.  I do think ultimately it's about personal preference. Do you want an In-Home daycare: usually family run with the advantages of being smaller, cheaper and having more of a homey feeling  VS a daycare center: more reliable and structured but usually comes at a higher cost. In my situation, I opted for a Daycare Center. I liked that there were multiple teachers per classroom. There is a decreased chance of having surprise closures (which I bet can be incredibly stressful for working parents). Secondly, you have to decide on location; do you prefer daycare to be close to home or to work? If you have a long commute, this factor is pretty important. After all of that, you then have to find which daycares have availability. I have twins, which meant whatever place I choose needed to have 2 spots, which was extra challenging. It is also very important to be mindful of daycare reviews and pay attention to other fellow parents' recommendations.

How Laura is Prepping for Interviews

At this point in my career, and because I have been out of the workforce for a while, I am not quite an entry Level, but I am also not a Junior. I definitely have some very relevant experience, but not quite enough to apply for higher level positions. My plan right now is to refresh my memory on some basics/background, go on a couple of practice interviews, and also get in touch with past co-workers and ask for tips, example interview questions, and topics to study.

It was so much fun interviewing Laura for the DMb. We went way past our allocated interview time. I think Laura is definitely one to follow and probably interview again in the future to get updates on how things are going as a working mom. I also think next time we should ask Laura about some organization tips to reduce clutter and make life easier! Trust me it will be worth your time. 😊😊😊

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