I have always been fascinated and interested in computers. I honestly admire the impact that these gadgets have had in our lives. I yearn and desire for a better understanding of how they work so that I can be able to utilize them better than the ‘ordinary person.’ This is my main reason for applying to the ALIGN Master of Computer Science program at the Northeastern University. I perceive this program to be the best fit for my goals due to the diversity of its courses. Most of its courses are suited for students with diverse educational and cultural backgrounds like me.
I grew up in a family of scientists. My father was a lecturer, and as a little girl, he made me believe science was magic. He told me that if I became a serious scientist, I could discover new things that the world had not yet seen. After seeing my interest in computers, he encouraged me to pursue a career in computer science or computer engineering. While in China as a young student, I regularly read local and international computer science related websites and blogs. By the time I was finishing high school, I had learned C++ coding basics. This achievement, though little, acted to further fuel my passion for computers.
I had my first computer at the age of fifteen, and I used this rare privilege to learn more about computers. My extensive knowledge in computers earned me a slot as a computer teacher in some local community digital literacy institute. However, due to factors associated with the Chinese education system, I did not get the opportunity to pursue further education in computer science in my home country.
I came to the US to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics at the University of Washington, Seattle. The main reason why I pursued a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at the university is that mathematics forms the foundation for computer science. I knew that if my performance in all the major mathematical courses at the undergraduate level were outstanding, I would get a shot at pursuing computer science at the graduate level. So, I had plans of completing my undergraduate education in mathematics and later enrolling for my masters in computer science.
Additionally, I was aware of the fact that a considerable amount of knowledge in computer science was needed as a qualification for a masters course in computer science, particularly in this case when I did not major in computer science in my undergraduate. Thus, I took the initiative and enrolled for computer science courses in China during my winter breaks. I also learned a lot of computer science concepts on my own due to my passion for computers. I took at least three courses in computer science in China during my holidays and performed really well. I took holidays not as a time to rest but as a time to lay a better foundation for my future. By the time I was completing my undergraduate studies at the University of Washington, I was conversant with all the key computer science concepts taught at the undergraduate level.
Regarding experiences in computer science, I can say that I have had enough to warrant a slot in the coveted MSC program at the North Western University. My primary source of experience has been Mass Mutual, a Seattle-based firm. Here, I served as an intern in financial analysis and website programming. I am still working at the company, and my main achievement has been the development of an internal console website for the company together with one of my teammates.
We developed the website from scratch with front end UI using HTML5, CSS3, JQuery, and back-end using Java, PHP, MVC, SQL, Mongo DB, and Spring. This is one of the achievements that I am proud of for it shows that I am capable. At Mass Mutual, I have also worked with numerous clients in website design. Additionally, I have been part of improvement teams charged with the responsibility of improving the company’s existing API to contribute to improving tracking of orders, logistics, and customer relations.
My experiences as a financial analysis intern are also worth noting because they exposed be to another field in computer science. After being trained by my supervisor, I was able to integrate my computer science knowledge into financial analysis. I coded formulas to be used in calculating safe points in stock trends. I also applied my vast computer science knowledge to aid forecasting and market analysis for the company and its clients.
Before joining Mass Mutual in April 2016, I had also served as a software development intern at CMIOT-Chongqing, Sichuan. Here, I had the opportunity to sign and record serial numbers of backstage logic codes for the company’s new QR code system that is based on the OneNet platform. This and other software tasks at this Chinese firm confounded my programming skills and made me a better programmer.
Similarly, I am a member of various online computer science geek sites where we interact and engage each other in coding challenges. We also mentor young aspiring programmers through tutorials and mentorship. It is on these platforms that I learned the use of tools such as Agile, Eclipse, Xcode, Spring, Linux, Windows, Macintosh, Photoshop, and Excel among others. I have found these online platforms to be a rich source of knowledge.
My computer science experiences had a significant impact on my education. They enabled me to propose and successfully work on various technology related topics as requirements for completion of my studies. I did write-ups on computer virus threats and the Y2K bug. My proposed graduate research project was on student’s perceptions on the utilization of P2P file sharing programs and their impact on music CD sales. These and other activities have taught me a lot on the need and strategies to running secure computer networks.
My short-term goal is to gain admission into the Master of Computer Science program so that I can build the skills and knowledge to enter into a career as a software application developer. After focusing on back-end development for a few years and utilizing my mathematical and data skills to create secure systems, I will move into front-end development. I will strive to use more creativity to build attractive UI design, interactive applications, and perhaps even contribute to the creation of a new language. Finally, after building my reputation, network, and skills to an expert level, I aspire to create a global software and application company that utilizes my linguistic and cultural knowledge of China and America.