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
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
Cullen completed his first internship the summer after his first year. "I was one of five Champlain students hired at that time for paid software-engineering internships at GE Healthcare," he says. He recommends that students get an internship early in their academic careers. "At Champlain you have the opportunity to take classes that give you an introduction to the skills of your profession in your first years; take these classes as early as possible so you can get started on an internship. Squeeze in as much as you can as early as you can."
GE Healthcare offered Cullen three different full-time positions, and he accepted the GE Healthcare Software Development Program in Barrington, Illinois. Cullen is paid to work 32 hours per week while attending school full time. "I work on different assignments six to 12 months in length and getting my Master's degree at the same time. It's the fast track to the highly technical, executive career path at GE."
Cullen '10, Software Engineer, GE HealthcareB.S. in Software Engineering, Champlain CollegeBarrington, IL