An interview with Emmanuel, Code2College Class of 2020 Grad Feature (#TechTalentTuesday)

Emmanuel A.  participated in the Code2College program this past year as a student at Weiss High School. Last week, we sat down with him and asked him about his experience in Code2College. 

MS: Hey Emmanuel! I’m excited to get the chance to talk to you about your experience.  I’d love to know what made you apply to Code2College in the first place?

EA: It was actually my mom. She met Matt and Norielle on campus while they were recruiting for the upcoming year. Just a few minutes into their conversation, she called me and told me to get down to school because she just heard about an opportunity that I couldn’t miss. I got dressed, came to school and heard more about the program from the team. The program sounded really interesting, and I wanted to learn more about coding, so I applied that same morning.

MS: We’re so glad you took your mom’s advice! Do you think she was right?

EA: Yes, absolutely. Code2College has been eye-opening, and I can tell how much it has helped me already.

MS: That’s great to hear. What were some of your favorite parts of the program?

EA: I liked going to the after school classes a lot. I started out not knowing everyone in that class, but by the end of it, I was really good friends with my Capstone team. My instructors, Ms. Gaby and Josh always came to class cheerful and ready to help each of us out with any hurdles we faced. It made it feel so much better than a regular school class, it was actually really fun!

MS: I’m glad you had such a great experience in our Software Engineering Leadership Program (SELP) at Weiss. I know that you were learning languages like Python and Javascript, but what else have you learned outside of those technical skills? 

EA: I’ve become more attentive and organized. C2C instilled in me some key values needed to work effectively in a team: humility, accountability and also responsibility. I think a lot of that had to do with the Capstone Project.

MS: Talk to me about what that experience was like.

EA: It was challenging at first. Like I said, we didn’t really know each other in the beginning and had to learn how to work together and be a team before we could get any real work done.

MS: How did you manage those team dynamics?

EA: Communication was really important. We talked about all of the critical tasks in our project and then started to divide it up based on what team members’ strengths. Once we got more familiar with each other and our skill sets, it made it much easier to make big decisions and move forward.

MS: Excellent! It sounds like you had many opportunities to practice communication skills.

EA: Yeah it really instilled in me a love for working in teams that I just didn’t have previously. After working with this team though, and seeing the project we built, I am excited to work on more things like this in college.

MS: That’s great! I’m curious to know what you’ve learned about yourself from participating in Code2College.

EA: Similar to working within a team, I’ve discovered that I really like speaking in front of people and am better at it than I thought. It’s another thing I am looking to do more of once I’m in school.

MS: It’s always exciting when we can help students connect with their passions. Any ideas on how you want to incorporate that into college or your career? 

EA: Well I’m going to school to study mechanical and  electrical engineering, but lately I have been thinking about how to combine that with more of a speaking role. I want to become a facilitator between the technical parts of engineering and the physical parts of engineering for an Technical firm. That way I can keep studying what I’m passionate about, but also get to communicate it with other people.

MS: Well I know you’re going to do great things, Emmanuel, and we can’t wait to watch you succeed and grow! Any last words of wisdom for future C2C students?

EA: Always treat everyone as if they know something you don’t. 

MS: That’s a fantastic piece of advice and great connection to one of our values: ‘Ask More’. Thanks for talking with us today! 

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