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The University Magazine

Alumni Updates

Overcoming challenges leads to job satisfaction

The complexities of the health care system make the job of an information analyst at a major medical center demanding to say the least. However, Kimberly Baribeau Andersen ’85 (medical technology) finds the work immensely rewarding.

Kimberly Andersen ’85

She also embraces the challenge of being the only deaf person among 7,000 employees at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Lebanon, N.H.

“I know I can do the job,” she says. “I love to work on problems because finding the solution provides a sense of pleasure for me. External rewards such as money are not enough to keep a person motivated.”

Deaf since birth, Andersen grew up in White River Junction, Vt., population 2,500. When it was time to choose a college, she had no hesitation.

“I chose NTID and RIT because they have the best support services for deaf students,” she says, “as well as career opportunities.”

Andersen joined Dartmouth-Hitchcock after graduating from RIT 21 years ago.

“RIT taught me how to work hard and be successful on the job,” she says. “And I also learned how to stand up and prove that I can do anything except hear. I believe that lesson is so important to increasing your potential for success, both personally and professionally.”

Andersen says that developments in technology over the past two decades have made a tremendous difference, both on the job and outside of work.

“Before we had e-mail and text messaging, I had to rely on the telephone relay system or TTY,” she says. “E-mail is much faster, and the Web is wonderful when I need to research something for my job."

“Sometimes I do get frustrated because I wish I would hear on the telephone, but now I use the cell phone for text messaging to communicate with my son, Thomas, friends and family. It’s especially important for emergencies or when traveling. I am so grateful we have this technology – it makes such a big difference."

Andersen’s love of challenges extends to her leisure time pursuits. She enjoys golf, skiing, white-water kayaking and entertaining friends with gourmet cooking.

“I believe the ability to span different worlds is a function of several things,” she says. “It’s a combination of curiosity, self-confidence, social skills and energy. I try to listen with my eyes and my heart. That’s why I’ve been successful.”