I once worked for a Fortune 500 company! Control Data Corporation was a huge presence in the computer industry and back in the 1970’s was a definite threat to IBM. Both companies made Super Computers that would run entire power plants.
I was working for a community college at the time, and we had just implemented these fantastic touch panel screens for the computers which were hooked up to a master computer in Michigan. We worked our curriculum around these computers so they were used in a systematic way to teach reading and math. The Plato system could increase the reading level of a student in about 20 sessions…not an entire year! It worked , too, and I was impressed along with everyone else.
Control Data pursued me and offered me twice what I was making at the college to work for them as a learning center manager. I took the job It was a fantastic experience where I learned so much about marketing, supervision, and management. All employees in management have to take over 36 hours of course ware on those Plato computers. It was the most magical thing I had ever experienced!
My job as manager of the Learning Center was to sell courses to the parents of students who were struggling in class. The students would come in and be tested on the computer and then I would look over their tests and the computer would place them in the module where they would start working. It was innovative, creative, and fascinating. Control Data had learning centers in many states around the country: NC, TN, SC, IL, MA, and FL. Each had my counterpart; we would get together several times a year and compare strategies.I loved everyone with whom I worked!
Another part of my job was hiring someone to help with the students whenever I wasn’t there. I also had an office manager who was already in place at the time and helped train me. It was a beautiful, quiet, comfortable place to work. The children were always excited and their parents never complained. I loved going to work every day.
Besides the children working on the computers, the securities industry would send new employees to our center to take tests about their jobs on the computer. It would evaluate them immediately so they didn’t have to wait. That was a remarkable testing mechanism, very well protected and confidential. To my knowledge that may be still in place…the testing.
Well, this is just another one of the many interesting jobs I have held over the years. Each one has prepared me for continuing education, teaching, evaluating, selling, and writing. I am so grateful for all the different jobs I’ve been privileged to learn.
This job with Control Data led me into the next job I will write about tomorrow: Commercial Credit.