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Antwerp native lands job with Apple

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Antwerp native Barbara J. Pitts has her career in focus.

Ms. Pitts, who recently graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology, will work with Apple as a camera-tuning engineer, primarily with the camera on the company’s iPhone. The popularity of the company’s camera made her excited to work with it.

“They’re the ones that revolutionized taking pictures, that everyone is using,” she said.

Ms. Pitts will start work with the company in early June.

After graduating in 2010 from Indian River High School, Philadelphia, where she took photography classes, Ms. Pitts initially majored in advertising photography. However, a class about camera technology led to her switching to the smaller imaging and photographic technology major in her third year. She managed to graduate on time by adding extra classes for multiple semesters, including ones taken online while doing a summer co-op with Ricoh in Colorado.

The company initially spotted her through her LinkedIn account, Ms. Pitts said. She and another student in the six-student graduating class from the school’s imaging and photographic technology major, Griffin Kettler, were hired by the company.

Going from living in the village, with a Census-estimated population of about 700, to the company’s office in Cupertino, Calif., with an estimated population of more than 60,000, would be a “huge culture shock,” she said.

Ms. Pitts said she was among a relatively small number of women in the school’s technical programs. She said she fit in by showing her competency.

“It’s a lot of proving you do know what you’re talking about, and you can do what anyone else does,” she said.

Asked what advice she would give to other women interested in science and technical fields, she said they should research all the options available to them, noting her own late switch in major.

“Don’t count yourself out,” she said.

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