Degree/Year: B.S., Computer Information Systems and B.S., Interactive Media, 2011
Current Employer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Title: Technical Artist
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always been really interested in technology of any kind. After looking into my future career path, I realized that having knowledge of programming would be very beneficial.
Two parts of my Bradley education have extreme impact on my career. Learning multiple programming languages has enabled me to be able to adapt in my industry. It helps me to learn new languages that are proprietary to Sony as well as other languages not offered. Another beneficial part of my Bradley education has to be getting involved with multiple organizations and being very proactive in my career search.
Make sure you have an interest in your possible career path. This will allow you to focus on things that will be specific to your career. By the end of your junior year, you should be contacting the Smith Career Center about possible internships and jobs. There are scholarships available through the International Game Developer’s Association – I received one recently to attend the IGDA Leadership Forum. Even if you’re in CIS and not interested in the video game industry there are multiple conferences a year that you are able to attend. There is a conference called Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing that is perfect for women in the technology field.
Also, carry business cards everywhere you go because you never know when you may meet someone in an elevator or on a plane! Networking is probably one of the most important things when it comes to getting a job.
Degree/Year: M.S., Computer Science, 2009
Current Employer: Wells Fargo Bank
Title: Business Systems Consultant
When I was 14, I got a toy called “computer,” and since then it flabbergasts me by its capabilities and variety of use. I chose computer science as my undergrad and then as my master’s degree just because of my interest and quest to learn more about this amazing machine. I don’t consider computers as just simple science because to code and design applications, one has to be creative and artistic as well.
I work as a business systems consultant in a bank and have to encounter massive size data analysis while making sure there is no room for an error; at this point, computers come to me as the best resource. With the great computation power and correct applications, computers have no match in this world. The ease of creating new processes and applying my own new algorithms everyday for the analysis brings joy to me.
Bradley was one of the most important parts of my academic and personal improvement, and it always will be. I was an international student coming for my graduate degree from India. The environment was totally different for me, but the Bradley community has done an excellent job of providing me with all kinds of ease and support by helping me understand the culture and blend into this country. I wasn’t just another student for my professors but a “name” in all my classes. Bradley provides a great learning atmosphere along with internship opportunities – my internship at Caterpillar was a very important experience for me and amplified my learning curve exponentially at Bradley.
Computer Science is the perfect field if you like to think “outside the box.” It provides you with a systematic approach to think logically and analyze the world from a different view. Computer science is not just about looking at a blue screen and code. Rather, it is a very interesting and exciting field that requires a lot of interaction with people. Computers have become a necessity of the present and will certainly lead us to a brighter future.
Degree/Year: B.S., Computer Science, 2011
Current Employer: John Deere
Title: Infrastructure Analyst
The field of computer science has always been interesting to me, even from a young age. One of my first high school jobs involved working for a small, local computer company where I received a broad exposure to many different IT disciplines. This pegged my curiosity and led me to pursue a computer science degree.
What I enjoy most about the computer science field is the diversity. You can study and work in one area and think you have it mastered, but then you realize you have only just touched the surface. It’s a never-ending quest to attempt to learn more and master a new area. That’s what keeps me interested in IT and what keeps me motivated to advance.
My Bradley education has been very useful to me in the professional IT world. Bradley’s curriculum offers excellent coverage of many important computer science disciplines. It is not meant to make you a master of any one area, rather, to give you a complete, well-rounded knowledge base on computer science as a whole. This is what companies want. Professional IT jobs require you to think critically about problems as a whole, not just have extreme specialization in one area. I feel my Bradley education enables me to do that and has helped me succeed in my career.
Bradley’s focused and driven approach to pursuing internships and professional experience while in college was extremely beneficial to my current job success. I was pushed early on by both the CS department and the career center to consider internships to broaden my skill-set and job marketability. This led me to an internship after my sophomore year with my current employer. This real world experience was a great way to see how what I had learned in the classroom applied to a future full time job after graduation. I highly recommend using Bradley’s Career Center and other resources to secure internships early on.
If you are considering a degree in computer science my advice would be to try it out. Take an introductory programming class and see how you do. If you seem to like it, try another. Even if you don’t like it, try another class. There are endless opportunities in computer science. You don’t have to like every part, but if you are interested at all, my advice is to go for it. IT jobs are consistently ranked among the top most desirable career paths and the opportunities and career options are endless.
Degree/Year: B.S., Computer Science, 1988; M.S., Computer Science, 1990
Current Employer: Bell Laboratories/Alcatel-Lucent
Title: Distinguished member of technical staff
When I arrived at Bradley as an undergraduate in the mid 1980s, computers were not as pervasive as they are now. I had a basic idea of what they were and figured that it may be something interesting to look at. As it turns out, the more classes I took, the more interested I became, especially with the networking and distributed programming classes.
I remember the awe with which I greeted my first program that sent data between two different computers in the laboratory over a local area network. It was amazing to see these computers actually communicating with each other. Today, of course, such communications are routine.
The strong emphasis that the professors at Bradley placed on programming has helped me tremendously. Having Internet connectivity and Unix machines back in the mid-80s at Bradley was great. I remember many frustrating hours in the laboratory debugging and waiting for professors, but the passage of time somehow puts a rosy tint on these memories and I can’t help but think about them fondly now.
The inter-disciplinary approach that allowed me to take mathematics and physics courses along with computer science was great. I strongly believe that a liberal arts education through which one studies not only the sciences, but also the humanities and religion is very beneficial to rounding a student up as an adult.
Current and future students should do one thing: program, program, and program. Computer science is an exciting field. The potential is limitless. Our lives are touched by computers, even when we do not realize it. The more you understand how to make these machines behave, and indeed, the more you understand how they behave, the better off you will be. A big component of computer science is programming; don’t shortchange yourself. Take as many programming and networking courses as you can.
It feels great to still be connected to Bradley. I was on campus in late fall of 2010 to give a talk at the CSIS department. The campus has expanded so much since my days. The university continues its stellar reputation and it is great to be aligned with it.