My name is Jenna Cooke and my story begins on the east coast sitting in an office all day crunching numbers and ends on the west coast delivering babies! This transformation sounds so simple and easy when I sum it up in a sentence like that, but let me tell you, it was a long road. Like most millennials, I thought I knew what I wanted out of a young professional life. To live in a city, work on State Street in Boston and feel super important in my smart business clothes walking to work with the rest of the yopros. This dream came true and lasted all about 6 months before I realized the reality of it. The "dream" turned out to be 60-80hr work days, sitting in front of a computer on excel crunching numbers with little to no human interaction. My normal outgoing bubbly personality slowly withdrew and my work suffered along with it. This wasn't about not wanting to put in my time and hard work, it was about how I saw myself in five years. I knew I didn’t want to be that money hungry, no morals, no work-life balance person.
Shortly after this realization I was laid off. Which at the time was a devastating blow to my straight A inner school girl, but a perfect kick in the butt to wipe the slate clean. I said F - it and signed up for fall nursing pre-requisites, and booked a ticket to London for the summer to be an au pair. I spent the next two years working my tail off at an accelerated nursing program where I realized two things. One- how far I could be pushed to my limits and two- I could actually enjoy what I was learning!
Fast forward another year and I bought a one way ticket to California and started a job at a hospital in Newport Beach as a labor and delivery nurse. I still have nightmares about being laid off from my finance job, but I honestly don't know if I would have had the courage to quit something to start again if it wasn't somewhat forced upon me. Of course none of this could be done without the support of my family and now- fiancé, but I really couldn't be happier. Fun in the sun by day and delivering babies by night!