My high school robotics teacher, Mr. Robinett, was a big source of inspiration for me when I decided to study computer science.
I loved how down-to-earth he was, and his stories inspired me to try coding. He made it seem like there were no boundaries — that there was no box I had to be in — when choosing my major. Mr. Robinett put in a lot of effort so his students could have fun and really enjoy engineering.
In high school, I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer, then I wanted to be a pharmacist. In my junior year, I tried to get an internship with Boeing, but that didn’t work out. After a couple of weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I met with career counselors, prepped for interviews, spruced up my resume, and tried very hard to make up for my lack of excellent grades.
During my senior year, I finally settled on computer engineering, and I applied to multiple internships. When a friend told me about an internship with Microsoft, I decided to apply. Surprisingly, Microsoft brought me in for an interview, and suddenly I was an intern with Microsoft the summer of 2014. The internship gave me an opportunity to meet with an array of scientists who gave me advice, and who continue to be my mentors today. It also helped me decide on a major. I wanted to focus on software, so I would major in computer science.
The computer science department at SPU only has three professors, which may be small number for a department, but those professors are experienced, genuine, and relatable mentors. I’ve enjoyed taking my CS classes, and the professors have given me all the help I needed to understand what I was learning.
Professor Wai Lau made the biggest impact on my education. He has pushed me to realize my full potential, helped me balance two majors, and apply to internships. I also did a research internship with him at Berkeley National Laboratory. I am always inspired by Professor Wai’s can-do attitude and his amazing teaching style that makes it so enjoyable to learn.
This might be cliché; but I loved the long evenings spent in the computer labs and software engineering rooms. There would be a bunch of students crowding around the one person who received the assignment, and there would be complaints, but I made a lot of good friends during those hours!
SPU has also been the right atmosphere for my faith. I chose SPU because I wanted to be part of a community that nurtured my relationship with God. As daunting as those big, five-credit core UFDN and UCOR classes are, I enjoyed the conversations I had in those classes.
I also had the opportunity to be a Wesleyan Small Group leader at SPU. Being part of that community was very supportive for my faith. It is always good to know that there are people willing to listen, and that aspect of small groups became very important to me.
After graduation, I plan to go into computer science and work in the industry for a couple of years before going back to school for a master’s degree. I am currently debating whether I should pursue a master’s in aeronautical engineering or a master’s in human-centered design and engineering.