Loretta Dickerson-Smith

Loretta Dickerson-Smith

Quality Assurance Manager

U.S. Mint

San Francisco, CA USA

Do not allow anyone to dictate what you are capable to accomplish.


My road in life has been direct.
Because I was on a quarter system at Stanford University, I needed to plan for my entire year. For example: calculus, which was four quarters was a year and a quarter.
I attended the library every day. I also found resources with attending TA sessions to be successful for tests. I started with a C GPA that excelled to A GPA—this was in calculus.
Being an African American student at Stanford was not easy. I found a Gospel Choir at school with other African American students that participated and this created a warm atmosphere.
I was at Stanford on a four-year scholarship, which covered room and board, food, and clothing. I also got a job part-time to do extra fun stuff, which required discipline.
I had to keep my grade point average up or I was not able enroll for next quarter classes.
I graduated in four years, however a counselor told me I was not going to be able to do it, but I was successful because I persevered.
24 years later, I returned to school to obtain my master's as a full-time mother of five, wife of 18 years, working a full-time job and going to school at night in person.
I successfully received my Masters with honors in the year 2013.
Keep following my journey


High School
St. Rose Academy


Quality Assurance Manager

I conduct incoming acceptance tests for proof coinage and packaging material as well as finished goods for the US Mint.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Problem Solving

Day to Day

I engage in evaluation of incoming shipments (coinage and packaging materials) to determine if they should be released to production for use. I determine acceptability of visual defects for in-process and finished goods. I attend Material Review Boards to work with the production managers to ensure all parties are using he same standards for products that went to the public.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for middle school students

I would recommend an internship or shadowing individuals that work in the respective fields that they are interested in. Having the ability to work in an apprentice or training position will expose the person to the various job responsibilities and the required education.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"I heard from my advisor that I would not be able to complete my course of study in four years. I was on the quarter system and many of the classes were not offered every quarter which necessitated taken a higher number of units in certain quarters."