Real Story: Megan Bails

Megan Bails

A selfie of CSM computer science student Megan BailsCSM Class of 2024, Computer Science 

Accolades, Accomplishments, and Highlights: NSF S-STEM Scholarship recipient 

I never saw myself in a STEM career. I started as an education major at a college in Pennsylvania, which is where I am from. I felt incredibly pressured to choose education as my career. But I found out that it just wasn’t meant for me, so I left school for a while and worked in manufacturing for about eight years.

While I was there, I programmed a CNC laser cutter to engrave serial numbers on medical implants, and I started to think about programming as a career. There was no room for advancement at that company, so I began looking into schools to pursue computer science. Then, COVID hit, and everyone’s world changed. My job took a hard hit, and I was among those who were laid off from the company.

When my husband took a job down here in Maryland and we moved to the area, I was already actively looking for a school that could get me started on my degree. CSM came highly recommended to me, so I applied. As someone who had recently lost their job, CSM was also a very affordable choice.

What I didn’t expect was the quality. The quality of my education was very important to me, and graduating with a STEM degree was a huge goal in my life. The educators here are excellent, and you can tell that they really care about your education. There are many clubs to get involved with, and the school hosts a lot of fun activities on its beautiful campuses. CSM has so many transfer agreements to four-year colleges, and it truly prepares you for that continuation. CSM made it so easy to transfer to St. Mary’s College after completing my associate degree.

The number one piece of advice I give to prospective students is to apply for scholarships, and one of the best things I discovered at CSM was the ease of finding scholarships. In fact, Dr. Melanie Osterhouse personally reached out to me to apply for a scholarship I had overlooked.

I really do not think I would have been able to continue my education so quickly without that S-STEM Scholarship, and I was shocked that someone would take the time out of their day to reach out and make sure I applied. I was eligible for the full amount, which completely covered the rest of my education. Not only that, but I had mentors to reach out to, and I made so many friends through the process. If you are a STEM major worried about how to pay for school, I highly recommend applying for the S-STEM Scholarship. Just reach out to Dr. Osterhouse, and she will go above and beyond for you.

CSM was really more than I ever thought a community college could be. I can’t wait for my future, and I have this college to thank for that. As someone who is not from here, I have made new friendships, and I truly feel part of the community. CSM truly is a gem in the community college world, and I feel so lucky to have made my way here.

To future CSM students: don't be afraid to put yourself out there and take every opportunity you can get because CSM has so many to offer. Truly apply yourself here, and what you get out of it will become a brighter future. 

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Last updated: 5-9-24

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