California Native Meets Design Challenges at TSTC

(WACO) – Marykate Danielson of Hewitt continues to California dream and learn to be a Texan who can write code and create websites.

“If you are good at technology, stay in it,” she said.

Danielson, 24, is a candidate for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Web Design and Development Technology at Texas State Technical College’s Summer 2017 Commencement on Aug. 18 in Waco. She is one of three students in the program graduating this summer.

“It was super eye-opening and kind of fun,” Danielson said about her time at TSTC. “I wasn’t that overwhelmed at first, then the second semester hit.”

Her instructor, Matt Blansit, said he could see Danielson someday owning her own design and development business.

“She’s very headstrong in what she wants to do,” he said. “When she gets her mind onto things, she achieves the goals. She is not afraid to go above and beyond for others.”

She worked part time at a Waco hotel as she took classes and studied.

“It was hard and really tiring,” Danielson said.

Danielson grew up in California and graduated in 2010 from Granite Hills High School in Porterville, Calif. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014.

Danielson said she chose to study history because she had a dream of going into the U.S. Air Force. She also met her husband, an electrical engineer, who got a job at L3 Technologies Inc. in Waco, which brought the couple to Texas.

Danielson decided to go back to college because she needed to do more with her career. She credits her husband with suggesting web design as a potential career.

“I was working an administrative job and not having fun,” she said. “I felt like I was not using my creative side.”

Danielson said after graduation she will continue job searching in cities along the Interstate 35 corridor from Austin to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Texas had more than 8,500 web design jobs, with the Waco area having 70 of those positions as of May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

TSTC’s Summer 2017 Commencement will include graduates from the North Texas, Waco and Williamson County campuses. The ceremony will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18 at the Waco Convention Center at 100 Washington Ave.

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