This story was originally published as part of the winter edition of The Master’s University Magazine. Read the full magazine here.
How do you motivate students in rigorous engineering and computer science programs to make the most of their opportunity? One way is to remind them what they’re working toward.
The engineering and computer science department at The Master’s University has been doing that by inviting professionals in the tech industry to speak to students. Past guests have included husband and wife Jeff and Jennifer Cruzan (high-level managers at Microsoft), Matthew Guerra from Amazon, and David Beaman from SpaceX.
These guest speakers serve as windows into the real world of the fields that TMU students are studying. For example, when the Cruzans spoke in September (an event held in conjunction with TMU’s Office of Career Services), they were able to shed light on careers in Big Tech.
Jeff, who serves as a principal group engineering manager at Microsoft, shared insights into daily life as a software engineer, while Jennifer offered insight into what business careers in Big Tech look like from her experience as a senior business manager. They also offered advice regarding key skills students should focus on developing in preparation for life after graduation, including integrity and curiosity.
The Cruzans emphasized how studying hard as a student during college sets the trajectory for what comes after graduation.
“You cannot overestimate the value that your time in college will have,” Jennifer said. “So many of the things you develop — in terms of discipline and rigor — will come back to you in your career. There’s a great opportunity to instill that while you’re in college and have the support of your classmates and professors. You can’t be in a better place than TMU, honestly.”
This emphasis on hard work is one of the department’s primary goals with these seminars. But even more important is the insight into how Christian faith can be lived out in these careers. The hope is that someday soon, the department’s graduates who sat in on these seminars will return to campus to encourage another generation of students.
Learn more about studying STEM at TMU here.
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