Testimonials

Eleanor Wort — Class of 2015

EleanorWort

How's life?

Life is great! I’ve been at Microsoft for six and a half years after graduating from UWB with my Applied Computing degree and Business Administration minor. I’ve had a few different roles within the company starting with an Application Development Project Manager and have now moved into a Program Management role. As a Program Manager, I help manage a global support team that assists customers with application compatibility issues they may face when upgrading to the latest version of Microsoft technology.

This position requires me to understand both business and technical jargon used by customers and developers as I communicate customer bugs and needs directly to the product engineering team. I also conduct internal team training for new products, present our program at conferences, and write blogs and develop docs for external customers. Having the ability to understand technical components of Microsoft products while also translating that to a business conversation has helped me grow quickly in my career!

Why did you choose Applied Computing?

I originally started out as a Computer Science & Software Engineering (CSSE) major and quickly discovered I didn’t love writing code. While I’ve always been passionate about technology, writing code was not the career path I wanted. After having a Technical Writing course with Dr. Laurie Anderson at UWB, I confided in her to figure out what the right career path was for me. I knew I enjoyed her Technical Writing class and thought I might prefer a project management path instead of the more technical development side.

Dr. Anderson told me about the Applied Computing major and I realized this would also allow me to study another passion of mine – business! I quickly switched to the program and was excited to design my own education. I chose business classes related to my interests and incorporated those learnings into my computer science classes as well to build that project management focus.

How have you integrated your second discipline?

Being a Program Manager, business and technology are my two key focuses. I get the opportunity to integrate these two every day. I use my business management skills to think through the business strategy for the program and utilize the business skills to conduct technical trainings and present at tech conferences. Understanding how a business functions from staffing, to budget, to team building has helped me immensely. I enjoyed the business side of tech so much that I chose to pursue a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership so I could dive deeper into management and build strong teams and organizations in the tech world!

How did the degree prepare you for your career?

Having the opportunity to focus on two different degree areas through the Applied Computing degree really helped prepare me for the “real world”. I had a base understanding of both business and technology which was the building block I needed for even more growth once I entered Microsoft. The professors in the Applied Computing degree would discuss real world scenarios that helped me understand more about what I would be exposed to outside of college and understand the language and terminology used by engineering teams. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UWB and I know I would not be where I am at Microsoft today without the support and guidance I received while at UWB!


Christine Nguyen — Class of 2018

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How's life?

Today, I am working as a Senior Data Analyst at MindBodyGreen. I work with data on both the backend and frontend side, which allows me to be the bridge between both users. When working in the backend I get involved with ETL design/development with SQL. On the frontend side, I help other analysts to understand the structure of the data warehouse, so they know how to retrieve the information they need for analysis. I use tools, such as Tableau, to help me automate reporting for business leaders to easily track their KPIs and goals for the company. I leverage data in building forecasting models with Python to predict things like future sales. My role today is centered around data, all in the effort to encourage leadership in making data-driven decisions. 

Why did you choose Applied Computing?

I chose Applied Computing because I found it interesting that I could learn many of the same topics as my peers who were in the Computer Science and Software Engineering Major. On top of that, it allowed me to also explore other fields of study, such as business and economics. 

How have you integrated your second discipline?

For my job, I mostly analyze sales and marketing data. Business leaders need help with understanding their data and do not have a lot of time to dive deep into the data. My minor has helped me in finding ways to not only understand the context of the analysis, but also how to tell the story to non-technical people. This is important as business leaders need to make decisions, and I can help them to make better decisions by not only diving into the analysis, but also translating the key insights in their language.

How did the degree prepare you for your career?

Although the specific technologies at my job were different than what was taught in school, the degree helped me to build the foundation I needed to easily adapt to learning new tools and breaking down large problems, which put me ahead of the business analysts at my job. I was ahead of my peers who just focused on computer science classes because I took other courses like economics and marketing to help me utilize technology to solve common business problems and eliminate manual processes that companies have.