This episode features Olivia Cream, a 2004 graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. In this episode, you’ll hear about Olivia’s endless drive to succeed and the highs and lows of her journey towards becoming an engineer with the Coast Guard. From her experience as an immigrant family from Jamaica, to the many ups and downs she faced during her time at the Academy, Olivia makes it clear that if you want something badly enough, it’s important to stick with it, find your support network, and work hard. As a heads up, this episode mentions sexual assault and also goes into details about some of Olivia’s experiences with racism. Enjoy the show!


  • Being an immigrant from Jamaica
  • Wanting to be an engineer
  • Racism at the Academy
  • Sexual assault at the Academy
  • Transitioning into a new career
  • Finding mentors along the journey


  • Can you tell everyone where you’re from? What school you went to and when you graduated?
  • Can you give everyone 1-2 lines about who you are?

2:28 PART I:

  • What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the U.S. Coast Guard Academy?
  • Being accepted to the MITE Program: Minority Introduction To Engineering program
  • What was the reaction of your parents when you told them you wanted to join the Coast Guard?
  • What it was like to be an immigrant family growing up
  • Was it rare for a woman to go to an Academy from your school?
  • Did you look at other Academies? 
  • How was the application process for you?
  • Choosing the Coast Guard over a division I soccer program

13:20 PART II:

  • Tell me about that first summer at the Academy.
  • Struggling with swimming during Swab summer.
  • If you had to sum up your time at the Academy in one word what would it be.
  • How were academics for you?
  • What was soccer like for you at the Academy?

22:00 PART III:

  • What were some of the highlights of your time at the Academy?
  • Were there any lowlights at the Academy?
  • Experiencing sexual assault 

35:00 PART IV:

  • Were there any other lowlights at the Academy?
  • Experiencing racism at the Academy

43:30 PART V:

  • What was the plan after graduation?
  • In the Coast Guard, did you experience similar struggles that you experienced at the Academy?
  • Why did you decide to get out of the Coast Guard?
  • How she got into medical devices.


  • How do you feel about your decision to attend a federal service academy?
  • What’s next for you?
  • How does it feel being out of the Coast Guard while your husband is still in?
  • Do you have any parting words for listeners? Perhaps a key message to your fellow Service Academy sisters?
  • What’s one random fun fact about you?
  • Where can people reach you?


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