Antilles alumnus Ryan Nichols ('01) and guest Jacob Alcauskas met with Antilles seniors this January for a candid discussion about the world of computer science and the evolution of the technology industry over the past few years. Nichols, the manager of applications at International Capital & Management Company and Alcauskas spoke specifically about the importance of having a balanced college experience, which pairs core computer science classes with extracurricular activities and volunteer work that the students are actually interested in.
A graduate of Virginia Tech, Alcauskas said, for example, that his interest in crew (rowing) gave him the chance to start with some friends an event registration company that primarily catered to rowing events, pairing both the application of his computer science lessons with an activity that he was passionate about. Nichols, who said he landed in the informational technology industry after studying economics at the University of Pennsylvania, also encouraged seniors to pursue internships that can give employers an idea of how they can apply what they've learned in the classroom to the real world.
And, at the end of the day, both speakers told students to keep up to date with changes in the technology industry, as they are the driving force behind most companies' business strategies. Being empathetic to computer or software users when creating code, programs or applications, and knowing how to keep them simple or user-friendly, is also important, they said.