Class of 2008
Billy’s love for computers and technology began at an early age. His interest grew in Junior High when his father opened a computer shop, and he began working for him. Although he didn’t have extensive knowledge about the lower level details of computer engineering when he became a student at UE, he was quickly informed and found his path. “I remember taking Engineering 101 and working hands-on with the professors on some basic concepts,” he said. “After finishing that class, I knew I made the right decision.”
Billy immediately became involved on campus serving as an Orientation Leader and a member of the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. He was also involved with Intramurals, Circle K, and IEEE. In 2005, Billy took the opportunity to study at Harlaxton College, the University’s sister campus in Grantham, England. “I am grateful for the experience because it helped me in adapting to different cultures, which helped when I traveled abroad for work,” he said.
Billy also went to the University of South Florida one summer to participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, and competed in the Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Lawn Mower Contest during his senior year. “We worked on the robot from sunup until sundown during the week prior to the competition, and we ended up taking 2nd place,” he recalled.
Upon graduation in 2008, Billy began working at Western Digital in Irvine, CA. His undergraduate education left him feeling prepared. “I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but shortly after starting work, I was using/applying several of the concepts I studied towards the end of my degree,” he said. “Because of this, I felt comfortable with any of the tasks I was assigned.” About a year after graduating, Billy started a Master’s program at the University of California-Irvine and felt ahead of his classmates when it came to material/coursework. According to Billy, this experience was due to his background in UE’s rigorous curriculum and the faculty’s willingness to make sure their students understood the material.
“Over the past couple years, four referrals of UE graduates have been made to my company by existing employees (UE Alums) and all four were given job offers,” he said. “I think this speaks highly of the quality of the UE graduates and curriculum.”
Sade (Harrison) Wong
Class of 2010
Through the University of Evansville, Sade Wong took advantage of an opportunity to study in Japan for 10 months. Besides contributing to her Japanese minor, Sade’s study abroad helped her develop other skills. “The experience I had was not only fantastic for improving my Japanese skills, but also helped me grow into a more confident person, ready to take on new challenges,” she said.
She also participated in two internships: one at Time Warner Cable in Cincinnati, Ohio, working in PC technical support, and the other at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Columbus, Ohio, as a business systems analyst.
Her experiences at UE prepared her for applying and interviewing for jobs, she said. Sadie works as a technology analyst for J.P. Morgan in London. “My role involves supporting applications that the equity derivatives sales teams, traders, and middle office use to perform their own roles,” she said. She is also in the graduate development program at the firm, which offers additional training and opportunities, and hopes to pursue a position in management.
“I always recommended UE as a school which offers not only a useful and well-rounded education, but also a close-knit environment to meet and interact with people from all over the world.”
Class of 2010
During her junior year of high school, Jessica learned about the University of Evansville and its residential camp, OPTIONS for High School and Middle School Girls, at a college fair. “That following summer, I was on campus working with the faculty and learning about engineering and computer science,” she said. “I was really impressed by the overall feel of the program and already felt like I fit in.”
Finding a place to belong was largely due to the EECS faculty and their open-door policy. They made Jessica feel “like they really wanted me to succeed,” she said. “You could really see how close everyone was at the department picnics and other events hosted by the various engineering organizations. The faculty were always there to help out or socialize, and were very involved with what the students were doing.”
Some of her favorite memories surrounded the annual UE High School Programming Contest. She and her fellow students assisted Deborah Hwang, computer science director and associate professor, with hosting the program. “The night before the event, Dr. Hwang would order pizza and we would stay up late making sure everything was prepared for the next day,” she said. “It was always a great time and really brought us together.”
Jessica also participated in a summer UExplore research project with Chris Tweddle, assistant professor of mathematics, as well as two research experiences for undergraduates at the University of Maine and Texas A&M University. She also took part in SAB and the Honors Program. “Evansville not only prepared me for my career, but also opened up the doors to a lot of opportunities I may not have otherwise had,” she said.
Like many recent graduates, Jessica decided to pursue graduate school. Currently in a direct-entry PhD program at the University of Toronto, she plans to graduate in 2015-16. In September 2012, Jessica will participate in a 12-week internship in the research division of Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK. “Being at a bigger university for graduate school has made me realize the benefits of going to a smaller university where you have more one-on-one experience with the faculty,” she said.
“If you're looking for a great engineering program at a smaller school and want to participate in activities outside of the department, then Evansville is worth every single penny.”