College of Computing: Proving Grounds for Life after Graduation

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John Nickerson
Senior Consultant at Capgemini
Alumnus '07, Computer Science

The Georgia Tech College of Computing (CoC) can be, to some, a hurdle that they must leap before completing their degree. But for many students, the CoC serves as a place where they can use their passion and their skills to achieve practically any of their interests. During my years at Georgia Tech as an undergrad, the CoC became my home away from home; always open for business, and always ready to present new challenges.

But those days are gone now for me. Two years have passed since I graduated and I find myself in the midst of the "real world." This next phase is one that any school hopes to prepare you for, when reality comes knocking, and where students are no longer focusing on getting an A (or just surviving with that C), but instead becoming a productive, successful member of a young and energized workforce. Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity to attend a school where the faculty, staff, and administration helped make this transition seamless.

My first year at the CoC started like most others, taking the entry-level courses with the rest of the student body, but that’s when everything changed. I applied for a position as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and within 6 weeks was helping guide the curriculum and testing for teachers and staff. Whereas most schools require a TA to be a graduate student, the CoC takes a different approach and allows younger students to develop themselves in this unique environment. Taking what I learned from this opportunity, my abilities in analytical problem solving and public speaking have gone a long way in shaping my professional career.

As you are bound to hear from students in any school, challenging curriculum is everywhere at Georgia Tech and it’s no exception at the CoC. My chosen coursework allowed me to take classes that let me explore my interests, from database and application design to Digital Video Special Effects, and each presented a unique aspect of the Computer Science principles. My Senior Design course and the mentoring I received from the College’s dean strengthened my teamwork abilities and the foresight into the business side of computing. These principles helped me to take my knowledge to the working world, and apply them to the technology consulting industry. It’s here now that I help solve problems for clients that expect great things out of their Georgia Tech employees.

As your student passes through Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, I hope they are given the same opportunities I received. You can rest assure that whatever lies ahead for them, they will have the experience and the skills to be successful. And best of all, I look forward to working with these young graduates in the years ahead!


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Created: 10/07/2009
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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