My undergrad years

In 2005, I attended the University of Massachusetts: Dartmouth to enroll in their B.S. Computer Science degree program. Due to some difficulties with the coursework, I ended up switching majors and pursued a B.A. in History and Sociology-Anthropology. This gave me the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Beijing, China so that I could pursue one of my interests which is Chinese history and culture. As a child, I grew up in a very Chinese neighborhood and had a lot of Chinese friends. I wanted to learn more about China and felt that the best way for me to do that was by visiting the country first-hand.

Me on the Great Wall of China in 2008
On the Great Wall of China in 2008

I graduated from UMass: Dartmouth in 2010 and was offered a scholarship to study abroad in Chongqing, China. I was able to spend a year studying Chinese at Chongqing University. In addition to learning Chinese, I also got a taste for teaching English. I found out that I had a natural knack for presenting and this would become important to me once I arrived back in the United States.

Me outside the Chongqing Public Library in 2010
Outside the Chongqing Public Library in 2010

My time as an ESL Teacher

Upon arriving back in the United States, I had trouble finding a job. In addition to the United States still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, it turns out that there aren't a lot of positions available for someone with a degree in history and anthropology. I decided to go back to school chose to pursue a M.Ed. degree in TESOL at Boston University. I finished my degree in 2013 and was offered a position as a lead teacher at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. I taught English at BCNC for three years.

Me with my 2014 class at BCNC
With my 2014 class at BCNC

My time as a computer science student

After teaching ESL for 3 years, I was starting to get burnt out. Although I was good at it, it wasn't brining me the sort of joy that I hoped for in a career. After some intense soul-searching, I started to re-pursue my interest in computer science. I started learning programming on my own, and eventually created an application for my school that helped teachers prepare their lesson plans. Inspired by this success, I applied for Oregon State University's online B.S. Comptuer Science post-baccalaureate program. I was accepted into the program, and after my first few semesters I started applying for internships to get my foot in the door. I got extremely lucky and landed my first job at Monster Worldwide Inc. as an associate release engineer.

Me at Monster in 2016
At Monster in 2016

I stayed on with Monster for a little over a year, before I sought out my next job. I didn't want to become pigeon-holed into a release engineering role, so I found a new job at another company in 2017 as an associate software developer. Unfortunately, that job didn't last too long and due to some economic troubles, I was laid off in 2018. In 2019 I wound up at my current position working as a junior developre for KBR, Inc. and I have been with them for over two years now. I work in Cambridge at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and am doing a lot of interesting work for the government.

Me at the Volpe Center in 2019
At the Volpe Center in 2019

After starting with KBR, I decided to leave OSU's program and switch instead to Boston University's M.S. in Computer Science program. My reason for doing so was three-fold:

Even though I had already completed half of OSU's CS program, I still felt leaving it to start at Boston University was the right decision. So that's where I am today. I am working full-time in the field that I love and pursuing a degree in a subject I had parted ways from a very long time ago!