What made you choose this major?
I have been interested in computers and technology all my life. In high school, along with the recommendation of my parents and teachers, I decided to take some introductory programming classes to see if programming and development was something that I would enjoy doing for the rest of my life. Turns out I really enjoyed the problem-solving aspects related to software development and realized that it was the perfect major and career choice for me.
How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?
Coming up with a perfect course curriculum for computer science is next to impossible considering that technology and programming languages are always changing. The faculty and staff in Carroll’s computer science program understand this, and I feel they take a more generalized approach that “teaches you how to learn” by using both theory and hands-on techniques. Often times, homework assignments will be started in class, or will be directly related to code or concepts covered during lecture time. I felt that this was a great approach to really helping me understand the materials being taught. Not only did we have to learn about the concept, we also had to apply it to code that we were developing for various homework assignments or ongoing projects.
I’m also thrilled that computer science students are required to take an internship for credit for at least one semester. Internships are a great opportunity for bridging the gap between what a student is learning in class versus what it’s like to work in the industry. I have been fortunate enough to have two different internships over three semesters, and I would say that it has helped prepare me for the “real-world” beyond college.
What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?
Carroll is popular for its small class sizes, which is one of the reasons I chose to attend Carroll. Whether it was classes related to my major, minor or general education credits, I was always able to get in contact with one of my professors when I needed them. In my business classes, it was always helpful to discuss case studies with professors and to get input on whether I was correctly understanding concepts or if I needed to do more research. For my computer science courses, it was nice to be able to have one-on-one meetings with my professors, talking through my code and understanding what improvements could be made.
I would also like to add that relationships can be built at Carroll outside of the academic classes. I have been a student worker throughout all four of my years at Carroll through Reservations and Events Services. I started as a general event staff worker, but quickly worked my way up to event management and a student supervisor role. Becoming a supervisor allowed me to learn important skills necessary for a successful career, such as communication, leadership and attention to detail. Through this position, I developed strong relationships with my co-workers and managers.
What’s one unique experience you’ve had relating to the coursework for your major?
I would say the computer science capstone. With this course, a student is required to come up with a semester-long project that will be developed from scratch, including full documentation and complete code, and then be presented upon completion. This was a great opportunity for me to apply everything that I learned in my classes as well as to learn new things, since I chose to develop a website using Microsoft’s ASP.NET MVC framework. This is a popular technology used in the industry, and by getting credit to learn and develop with this framework, I feel it provided a great experience for me to learn at my own rate and to apply my knowledge to a big project.
How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you’re learning in the classroom?
Along with my computer science major, I was also able to take classes to achieve a minor in management and leadership. I think that no matter what industry someone is going into, it’s valuable to have knowledge and experience in management, leadership and business. I also learned management, leadership and business skills through my position as a student supervisor in the Reservations and Event Services office. I learned how to lead by example, work with clients and to identify areas of improvement for myself, my coworkers and the office as a whole.
Why did you choose to attend Carroll University?
I am happy with my choice of attending Carroll. Between the small class sizes and getting to know my professors, various projects, student employment opportunities and internship opportunities, I have gained a wealth of knowledge that has me feeling fully-prepared for my future career. Education aside, the campus is beautiful and it’s a family-friendly atmosphere where you will most definitely develop relationships that will last well beyond the few years spent at the university.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Don’t be afraid to be involved or to take on a minor or a second major. The Carroll University experience is unique, and it is what you make of it. There are plenty of student organization opportunities as well as student employment opportunities. Don’t look at them as “just a job” or a “resume-builder,” fully-apply yourself and identify how these various departments and positions can help shape you into the person you want to become.