Taylor Campos ’17 is a Computer Science major and 2017 graduate of the School of Science. Taylor credits Monmouth with giving her the opportunity to excel; here she tells us exactly what made her experiences at MU so special.
What attracted you to Monmouth?
I visited Monmouth after I got accepted in the spring of 2013, and I instantly fell in love. Even on a rainy, cold day the campus was still beautiful and it was somewhere I could envision myself living for the next four years. Learning about the small classroom sizes and the opportunity for one-on-one relationships with your professors were definitely the most compelling points when I went on my tour. I was entering college “undeclared” and so I was looking forward to trying all the different general education courses in classrooms where the professors knew my name. The professors, advisors, and mentors I have encountered during my career at Monmouth have all been supportive and helpful in shaping my future.
Why has Monmouth been a good fit for you?
The small classes and professor-student relationships have set me up for success. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for one of them, Professor Jamie Kretsch. When I was a sophomore thinking about declaring computer science as my major, I first emailed Professor Kretsch (whose IT 100 class I had taken the previous year) and asked if it was possible to sit down with her to discuss some of my options. Professor Kretsch emailed me back almost immediately and cleared time in her busy schedule to begin mentoring me on this journey as a computer scientist. This may have not happened at a larger school, and I am confident I would not be where I am today without that meeting with Professor Kretsch. I was later introduced to the School of Science peer mentor program where Dr. (Catherine) Duckett and Dr. (Robin) Kucharczyk helped me become a more confident young professional. The very day I enrolled in my first computer science courses Professor Kretsch brought me to an IEEE/ACM meeting (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery). This club became extremely important to me and my life at Monmouth and I eventually became its Vice President during my senior year. IEEE/ACM introduced me to some of my closest friends, and it has provided me with leadership experience that I will carry over into the workplace when I start in July.
How did Monmouth University prepare you to be successful?
Professor Kretsch has been such a great mentor to me throughout the past three years. Her influence, with the support of Monmouth University and the CSSE department, has given me amazing access to opportunities like the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. The CSSE department awarded me a scholarship to attend the conference my junior year and I landed an awesome internship with GE Healthcare in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! The following year I was also awarded a scholarship to attend the same conference from the Anita Borg Institute. Over the course of the three-day conference, I interviewed with eight different companies and received multiple full-time job offers. I may not have been able to attend this conference or have received opportunities like this without the Monmouth University CSSE department.
My leadership positions and involvement in IEEE/ACM and the School of Science peer mentor program have prepared me to be successful in my future endeavors. The School of Science peer mentor program helped push me past some of my fears about public speaking and has taught me valuable skills about networking. As an e-board member of IEEE/ACM I have learned how to better organize my time and manage a group of students with similar interests. During her keynote address at the 2016 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Houston, Texas, IBM Senior Vice President Gini Rmetty said “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” I was just one of the thousands in the crowd but her statement resonated with me. Monmouth University has helped me grow. Even when it was uncomfortable for me, I have been encouraged and supported as I did so. All of my experiences here, including my leadership and mentorship roles, the peer mentor program, IEEE/ACM, and my professors from the CSSE department have all pushed me to be a stronger student and professional.