An academically rich program, a strong sense of community, & affordability led Guy to apply to UMassD as a first step toward building his dream career in the field of computer science.
Guy, please tell us why you chose to attend UMassD?
“As a student living in Florida, I felt my living environment lacked professional development opportunities and mentorship networks. I decided I needed a change in my life, one that would bring growth and success to my professional career.
Although I could not afford it, I always knew if and when the opportunity arose, I wanted to earn a degree from a Massachusetts university since that’s where many of the best colleges seem to be located. I chose UMass Dartmouth due to its excellent undergraduate education, affordable tuition, and a strong sense of community. And I can say that I gained most of my growth (leadership, career, communication, mentorship) and networking at UMassD.”
What drew you to your major?
“At a young age, I was always involved in computer hardware and programming language. I wanted a proper foundation that would help me gain confidence and further my knowledge. Within the CIS department, I’ve learned how to master more than one programming language and I had two research articles published before completing my undergraduate journey.”
How has UMassD prepared you for life after graduation?
“UMass Dartmouth has prepared me to be a better leader, speaker, mentor, and advocate for the diversity and inclusion community. Additionally, it has allowed me to practice my computer science skills. My UMassD experience taught me that networking is at the core of success, not just having a high GPA. As a result, I was able to build my network using the skills mentioned above with UMassD.”
Can you talk about your internship experience?
“In summer 2021, I was hired at Avanade Consulting Inc. as a Back-End Analyst. All the knowledge I gained at UMassD was put to use in that company during my time there. Knowledge for me means leading some morning team meetings in which I gained leadership and presentation skills, earning my first Azure cloud infrastructure certification, and finally concluding my experience with an excellent review that led to my full-time job offer.
As a result of my college experience, I was knowledgeable about the topic of software engineering, patient to learn, and most importantly curious about the work culture and the upper ladder of the department, which improved my network within Avanade Inc.”
What extracurricular activities did you pursue as a student?
“During my academic career, my leadership journey began with my fraternity (Sigma Phi Rho Fraternity Inc.), where I held the position of treasurer. As part of my term, I was responsible for hosting and raising over $20k for our 18th Annual Aids Benefits show with the Aids Action Committee.
Following such accomplishments, I have mentored several freshmen taking CIS seriously considering how broad CIS can be viewed. I have also chaired the Black History Month Show committee, been elected the main researcher for medical chest X-ray images, and have been promoted to Senior Manager for Conferences & Events Operations on campus.”
Tell us about your research experience.
“During my sophomore year, Professor Iren Valova instructed me to self-teach myself about machine learning before joining her research team. As a result of several trials and errors, I was able to meet her expectations and take on my first assignment in the summer of 2019. I assisted the team in developing a pre-processing algorithm that will clean up a dataset of bad lung X-rays.
Achieving this was possible by using several preexisting algorithms; however, the work was only halfway done until I created a custom machine learning model that fit the purpose of our project and solved it. Our work was documented in a conference paper and published in the science direct library. I gained a deeper understanding of machine learning along with image preprocessing through this research since both are thriving topics in the field of computer science.”
What advice would you give to younger UMassD students?
“No matter what your career/path might be, college tends to be incredibly stressful; however, these tips have helped me further develop my multitasking, organizational, and time management skills. Come with a "willing to learn" attitude. Engage yourself in the college community. Join a few student organizations on campus. Support the college’s diversity and inclusion efforts, no matter what. Don't be afraid to support other student organizations, no matter how involved you are. Lastly, have fun!”