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Kimberly Fulford, Wind Energy Technology

Found a Degree Program to Fit Her Schedule

"Eventually I want to start my own wind business installing small wind turbines on farms and places off the grid that don't have reliable access to energy.

When I visited the campus I just walked around seeing how many different labs there were and the actual equipment and getting to walk in the classroom and get the feel of it. You know, it was exciting. It was very exciting. That was just it for me honestly. Coming in here and being able to picture myself climbing wind turbines while looking at the safety training tower they have in there. It just sparked my interest and that was it.

I don't have technical skills, honestly. I've been in retail and management. I've never done hands-on work like that. I've never done anything in a technical capacity so I was kind of intimated coming here, especially being a female because there are so many males in the field, but I feel totally at ease and they're there to answer any of my questions any time.

With the ratio of girls being so low, I mean you would be a little intimidated, especially not having technical skills or being in the field, but everybody is friendly with everyone. It's a professional environment. It's not like high school at all!

One of the things about going to college: I didn't think that I had enough time. I didn't think that I'd be able to have a good work-life balance, especially having a two-year-old. But honestly, you start out with two days a week. It's a full day and then you're off. It's not a stressful situation because you can talk to your program director and if one of the classes you're scheduled for doesn't fit your schedule, you can have it changed or moved to a different day. There are night classes available if you want to do night classes. It fits very well with my time."