Student Aaron Mangione at CU

What is your professional and/or academic background?

I graduated from the University of Nevada-Reno with a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Engineering 2015 but started college with the intent to receive a degree in applied mathematics. I was later encourage by others to seek a degree that would have a defined career path. So, engineering seemed like a good option. I did not necessarily find engineering to be more career oriented, but I did find it to be more analytical, and eventual found my self getting involved in academic research at wastewater treatment plants until I graduated. I accepted a job at a civil engineering firm in Reno, Nevada called Dyer Engineering Consultants. For the 2 years I worked at Dyer Engineering, I worked on a variety of different projects that included site planning, environmental assessments and permitting, hydrology, and aviation. After spending most of my life in Reno, my wife and I decided to move to Denver where I had accepted a job as an Engineer with my current employer, Calibre Engineering. Most of my experience with Calibre has been in land development.

What made you decide to pursue a CS degree? What are your career goals?

Currently, I am working in the land development industry as an engineer, which can be extremely demanding. The 60-hour work weeks takes its toll on you, but it is rewarding. Throughout this journey, I have learned how to develop and maintain relationships with clients through hard work. My desire to provide exceptional work in a substantially less amount of time has been one of my keys to success in developing these relationships. I am always looking for a new way to illustrate, calculate, or manipulate data for clients, and I have found success through developing a computer skill set that sets me apart from other civil engineers. Even though building this set of professional skills has helped me further my career as as civil engineer, I feel that switching my career is the next step for me to achieve my goal of working in Big Data, web development or software development. Completion of a formal degree in computer science will give me the tools I need to take my career to the next level and eventually seek a graduate degree.

Why did you choose CU Boulder’s program?

After skimming through the numerous adds for bootcamps around the Denver Area, I started to look at real degrees. Eventually, I came across Boulder's online program. It stood out to me because of it's rigorous and respected nature. I liked the fact that I was held to same standards as an on-campus student, but I didn't have to quit my job, or scale back hours to do it.

Why does the post-bacc program work for you?

The post-bacc program is ideal for me because it gives me the classes I need to be confident in the Computer Science industry. It recognizes that I have taken core classes at an ABET accredited, and I do not need to retake classes as a prerequisite to obtaining a degree in applied computer science. Additionally, this program allows me to work full-time while pursuing my passion and potentially change my career in the process.

What are some things you like to do for fun?

In my spare time I enjoy fly fishing, hiking, climbing, camping and spending time with my family.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

My advice to all students, or people, is to get involved with clubs, groups and networking events.

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