Cachelle Johnson-Lewis says over the years, many people discouraged her from pursuing her college education. “I always felt that I had to prove to others that I belonged in every opportunity given here. It is something that has kept me motivated to continue to be the best version of myself,” says Cachelle, who is a data science major at UMassD’s College of Engineering. Thanks to her vast network of support, which includes UMassD faculty, friends, and family, Cachelle has excelled. To prepare for a promising future, she chose to complete two field-related internships and serve in various leadership roles on campus.
As a College Now Peer mentor, Cachelle helped first-year students acclimate to the college environment. “There were challenges during the pandemic, but I was able to be creative in providing support to students to help them succeed during their college journey,” she said. “This included building a support system to make sure incoming students would do well in their classes as well as sharing my experiences as a student.”
She has also served as academic chair for the UMassD chapter of NSBE. “Attending the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) 45th National Convention in Detroit, Michigan helped me learn, network, and develop my skills as a young professional,” she says. Additionally, she has managed the Association Computing Machinery club’s social media and worked as an IT classroom service technician for CITS. “All of my leadership experiences have prepared me to help others in my community. And I’ve learned new strategies and gained more experience,” she says. “I have been introduced to different ways of supporting others, while also developing professionally.”
Cachelle completed internships with Quantopian as well as Dell EMC. “As a software engineering intern at Quantopian, my main responsibility was building a framework on the company’s website. By doing so, I helped improve their users’ experiences.” As an infrastructure system finance intern for Dell EMC, she assisted cross-functional collaborators in creating and documenting an engagement model on Dell’s process for cross functionalities regarding potential funding. “From this experience, I learned problem-solving strategies that came my way from a fresh perspective.” Cachelle also participated in the Tribe Academy Externship organized by Nishita Roy (director at Dell EMC and founder of the Tribe Academy) and Florcy Morisset (senior technical leader and founder of 2x). She says the Academy has made an impact on her junior year and final years at UMass Dartmouth. “It helped me improve my professional development skills, such as networking and building career goals.”
Cachelle graduates next month and has accepted a full-time position in a project/program management analyst position at Dell EMC. The two-year rotational program will enable her to work across four different teams within the company. “The internships and externship increased my opportunity for employment, built my network, sharpened my problem-solving abilities, and equipped me with skills that I am able to bring to any position.”