I first became interested in computers when we first got one in our house around the time I was in first grade. When I got to high school, I knew I liked math and wanted to work with computers, so I realized I wanted a career that incorporated the two. I looked into software engineering and thought it fit me perfectly.
By the time I got to Champlain, their software engineering program had changed to Computer Science & Innovation (CSI), but I could specialize in Software Engineering. A lot of what I do in the program involves projects. The first application I developed in my junior year looked horrible, but I played the market smartly. Within two weeks of my app deploying, I received about 1,000 downloads. After it a couple months, it was close to 50,000 downloads. I also helped seniors with their final projects. It was helpful and eye-opening to work with seniors who knew what they were doing, and I learned what I'd have to know before graduating and entering the field.
I've realized over the last year that my career is becoming my top priority. I know I want to continue my education to further my career; there's always room to grow and learn, especially with IT because technology is always changing. I have to be flexible, adaptable, and able to learn quickly.
Kennedy, Computer Science & Innovation MajorFall River, MADIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
For me, programming is one of the most creative things you can do. I love that you can start with a blank document, type a couple lines of text, and then have it spit out a webpage. The fact that you can create something out of nothing is so interesting to me.
I have worked at the Leahy Center for Digital Investigation (LCDI) for my entire time at Champlain. I was an Office Assistant in my first semester, and have had four different positions since. I'm now one of the programmers in charge of leading projects as well as leading the rest of the programming team. I'm getting an opportunity to create software that is going to be used on a daily basis. This allows me to take user feedback into consideration, as well as work on fixing issues and making improvements. My goal is to be a Software Project Manager, and be in charge of two other programmers so I can be the first contact for a project and gain valuable experience that I can take into my first job in the industry.
I've spent the entirety of my college career preparing for the job market. I've grown my programming and teamwork skill at the LCDI, I've built up my leadership qualities and public speaking skills as a Resident Assistant and Student Ambassador, and I've been taught the ins and outs of the field by experienced faculty. I feel confident that I'll find a position relevant to my major when I graduate.
Matt, Computer Science & Innovation MajorKennebunk, MEDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
I wanted to go to a school with passionate students in a beautiful place. That's why I came to Champlain. One of my favorite parts of Champlain is the MakerLab at the Lakeside Campus; it allows students from any major or year to create anything you want, from school related to personal projects. I love the fact that this school offers that, and that the student body makes use of it.
Being around such brilliant people is both humbling and inspiring; it has encouraged me to come out of my shell a lot at Champlain. In addition to an amazing student body, the professors are really kind and approachable. Many of the projects are open-ended which makes learning really fun. For one of my final projects, I made a glove that you could use to play rock-paper-scissors against a computer! And for a Core class final, I built a banjo as a self-portrait.
Personally, I am better at figuring out new platforms and coding languages by myself, without instruction. And at my internship at the Emergent Media Center, I build physical components and write code for games and other interactive experiences. My job there often overlaps with my classes, which is really exciting. Between my internship and classes, I have learned so much about the power and opportunities that comes with when working with other students and professors. Because of these experiences, I feel so much more confident for when I'm going to be applying for jobs in the future.
Robin, Computer Science & Innovation MajorLivingston, NJDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
I've always had a passion for computers and solving problems, so Computer Science & Innovation was a natural fit for me. My ability to get an education that's directly applicable to my desired career was really great. Between clubs, career resources, educational resources and campus facilities, I really feel like I've had all the tools needed to be a successful student. I think Champlain's focus on education as opposed to research is a big part of that.
The Computer Science & Innovation program has been absolutely wonderful. In my first semester, we developed a web application that performed basic sentiment analysis on Twitter data containing the word "Champlain." This gave a lot of insight into professional-grade application development and challenged a lot of the preconceived notions I had about the industry. I've been able to connect with my professors and really get a personalized education. The classes are structured to be a good combination of lecture and lab time, and every professor in my major is absolutely brilliant. Their passion for teaching fueled my passion to learn.
Over my time at Champlain, I've had two internships. I worked at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation here in Burlington, developing internal-use applications for maintaining customer data and calculating savings based on the use of energy-efficient products. Last summer, I worked as an intern at Liberty Mutual in Dover, NH. I still work there as an intern, and accepted a job offer to return there full-time after graduation before my senior year even began. My education was career-minded, and Champlain is about pursuing an education to become a professional. I think maintaining that mindset and the priorities that accompany it is vital to getting the most out of college.
Matthew, Computer Science & Innovation MajorWadsworth, OHDIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
Core curriculum was one of the main reasons Allison came to Champlain. "I really like my Core classes because I can apply my knowledge and see how things connect in a variety of fields. Being able to think from different perspectives is a great learning opportunity. It gives you a tool set you can apply to any field."
"I went to Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Switzerland. Traveling made me realize how similar places can be. We may speak different languages, but we're not all that different. It was nice to learn that I can travel anywhere in the world and feel I can communicate with the people there."
Allison, Computer Science and Innovation majorBrookline, NHDIVISON OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCES
Ryan completed his first internship with IBM's Lotus Software Groups before graduating from high school. Once at Champlain, he was able to work remotely from his dorm room and spend his summers in various software labs. He completed three different internships with IBM between his first and third years at Champlain. "I was starting to see what it was really like to be in this sort of industry."
Ryan went on to join MITRE, a not-for-profit research company that serves a variety of government divisions. "MITRE offered me the chance to work with Google's latest Android operating system for mobile phones in one of their research projects," Ryan explains. In his senior year, MITRE sent Ryan to Google I/O, a conference for developers involved in Google software. Shortly after, Ryan was offered a full time software engineering position at MITRE. "It's amazing to me that I will be employed as an official Software Engineer after I graduate. Life is just getting started, and I strive to keep reaching and attaining my goals. "
Ryan '13, Software Engineer, MITREB.S. in Software Engineering for Emerging TechnologiesTyngsborough, MA