|An Interview with Career Connections Mentor -- Scott Ferguson '07
Major: Computer Science
1. Describe the path you took to get where you are today.
I interned for a small company throughout school to help build my resume, and, almost immediately after graduation, I moved to Chicago. Chicago is a huge tech city with plenty of opportunities and, after about 3 weeks of interviewing, I found a job working for a small web company. Through that company I eventually was promoted to lead developer for Pizza Hut's online ordering site and, soon after, was promoted to managing developer for the entire company. About a year ago I decided to join a small startup that focused on mobile applications. I now manage a team of incredibly smart and motivated engineers.
2. What is one thing you wish you had known about the professional world before you graduated?
I wish I had known more about the interview process in my industry. Walking into a room full of strangers who ask you to stand up and write answers on a whiteboard to questions meant to trip you up can be pretty nerve racking!
3. What were you involved in at LVC that helped prepare you for a career? OR, what do you wish you had been involved in that would have helped you prepare further?
I dabbled in the ACM programming competition early on but didn't follow through on it. Looking back, I wish I had stuck with it all 4 years. Programming competitions focus on solving difficult problems, and that is essentially what a career in computer science is comprised of. It would have been great experience early on.
4. What was your favorite thing/memory about LVC?
Chicken tender day at the cafeteria.
5. Why did you become a mentor through Career Connections?
I took a risk moving out to Chicago after school without any promise of a job and I managed to fall into a few fantastic opportunities. I want to help encourage and expose other graduating CS majors to the same thing.
6. What was your favorite restaurant when you were a student at LVC?
7. If someone were to walk into your office, what interesting thing about you would they find?
A high school photograph of Darth Vader, planted by a co-worker.
8. Who was one of your favorite professors/instructors from LVC?
Dr. Lyons. His enthusiasm for any subject he was teaching always motivated me to go out and buy a book on some totally obscure topic.
9. What is one book (relevant to your profession) that you would recommend?
The Pragmatic Programmer. When first getting into the industry and meeting lots of other developers I found that my ideas on how things should/shouldn't be done clashed with what other developers thought. That's just part of the job, but the Pragmatic Programmer is a great baseline for how code should be written and how a developer should handle day-to-day challenges.
To learn more about or connect with this mentor, utilize Career Connections!