While I originally planned on attending grad school, and was on the cusp of accepting a position in a Master’s program at University of Oregon, I ended up getting a job in the industry and never went back to school.
Impact of Ursinus
Ursinus prides itself on teaching students how to think, and how to problem solve more than focusing on a particular skill or set of facts. The UC computer science program was broad, but relevant, and exposed me to software development as a whole. What this meant was that while I primarily studied C++ in college, after 3-4 months of self study in Objective-C I was able to get a job doing iPhone development in 2011 at a company I still work for today. As far as the non technical aspects of my education, Ursinus gave me a comfortable avenue to interact with people just like me, and people who had zero interest in computers or mathematics. Between the clubs and teams I was apart of and working at the UC Help Desk for 4 years, I interacted with students and faculty alike on a daily basis, and those interactions have had a strong influence on how I interact with coworkers, clients, and business contacts to this day.
Piece of Advice
I know it must sound like a trope these days, but it really is so important. Also, take strange risks. When I first got to Ursinus, I made a post on the 2006 Freshman Facebook page asking if anyone wanted to play the video game Halo with me. I was new to school, didn’t have many friends, and this was a game that had kept my High School friends close. One of the people who responded to that Facebook post is probably my closest friend in the world, someone I talk to on a daily basis.
Joining the UC ACM led me from trying to find a few like minded nerds to hang out with, to competing at a regional level with the Ursinus Programming team and getting leadership experience as the club’s Vice President for two years that as an incoming freshmen, I NEVER would have gotten otherwise.
Another of my best friends from Ursinus, who again I talk to on a daily basis, became my roommate for my Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years because I picked a random bed at housing selection because I thought the house looked cool on walks to Wawa (444 for life). I learned to play guitar hanging out with friends at Ursinus, and have lived with one of those friends for the last two years. In that time we’ve gone to countless open mic nights to sing and play, and all that’s possible because I took a few small random jumps at school.
Someone once said to me that college is a chance to reinvent yourself, and it’s true. I came to Ursinus as a nerd from the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, and I graduated a far more confident and accomplished nerd, who played rugby for a year, with a ton of great friends. Ursinus cultivates that sort of experience, and I hope every student who spends their post high school years there takes that chance to become who they want to be.