by Ms. Edit Boral
In the first and second week of November, Molloy students had a chance to virtually meet and chat during their computer science classes with the following four guest speakers from Amazon:
- Litmanovich Lenara, Recruiting Coordinator on the Amazon Consumer Team
- Terence Truong, Solutions Architect Amazon Web Services
- Amit Lodh, Senior Leader and Solutions Architecture Manager on the Amazon Web Services Team
- Jaswanthi Meganathan, Engagement Manager Amazon Web Services
Each Amazon volunteer was thrilled to connect and share insights from their computer science journey with Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) students and Ms. Boral. They talked about what it's like to actually study computer science in college and work in the tech industry and Amazon. Students also had a chance to ask questions and connect with the volunteers on LinkedIn. Molloy’s Computer Science program offers students the opportunity to obtain Amazon Certificates. These certifications carry weight when pursuing future job opportunities – particularly at Amazon.
“The class chat with Lenara Litmanovich was very informative and interesting,“ said AFE student, Vaughn Curtis ‘22. “Lenara talked about her educational background and then proceeded to explain first, how Amazon works, second, what Amazon is looking for in terms of recruiting, and finally, what it is like to work at Amazon. In the Q&A session, we discussed everything from specifics in coding, to college, to the Amazon workplace environment. It’s practically impossible to quantify the number of different things one can do in the tech field and for me, it is definitely something that I’m interested in pursuing. All in all, it was an exciting event.”
Junior AFE student, Christiana Mattheopoulos ’22, stated that “The chat with Terence Truong, a solutions architect at AWS was very inspiring. My takeaway from his visit is the importance of the fact that people of all backgrounds can be successful in the world of computer science. Whether you have a computer degree, a history degree, or a finance degree, with the right amount of passion and effort, anyone can become a successful programmer. To learn to code, you mustn’t be afraid. You must be willing to put in the work. Most importantly, you must believe that you can grow out of your current weaknesses and fears and that you can become someone who is effective in coding and communication.”
AFE and Quantum Computing student, Brianna Garrison ’21, said that it was an absolute honor to be able to hear from such talented and insightful Amazon engineers as Amit Lodh and Jaswanthi Meganathan. “One main lesson that I learned from both speakers is that a career is not a steady and straight-forward path. Taking unexpected turns is common, and a natural result of exploring your passion and place in the world. It was especially important what Ms. Meganathan remarked, using her career as an example: there can be many (hierarchical) ups and downs in a career path, but ultimately there will be a positive and forward direction. In other words, your career path isn’t a straight line up; not every single job is going to be followed by a “promotion”, but that is good and another natural part of exploring what you want to do, and ultimately throughout the ups and downs and twists and turns, you will improve. What’s important is to maintain curiosity and an open mind. Personally, since I had the privilege to hear from two guest speakers, I got a real taste of how broad and diverse the field of computer science is. Both presentations I attended were by engineers at the same company, and yet their jobs and experiences were vastly different. It made me realize that there are so many directions one can go in the realm of computer science, but the possibilities are endless and expanding,” shared with us Brianna.
This event was brought to Molloy by Amazon with the aim to inspire students to become future leaders in the field of computer science. More than 80 students participated and Assistant Principal Maria Cuomo was also able to join the chats.