How did you find out about Syracuse University?
I found out about the iSchool while I was touring Syracuse University. At the time, I was looking towards Broadcast Journalism because I did that in high school. I always knew I had a passion for technology, and I wanted to do something along the lines of that. Then I went to tour the iSchool, and figured out I wanted to come to Syracuse. I came in as a freshman, have been here ever since, and figured out I wanted to go down the technical route. That’s why I picked up the minor in Computer Science. I’ve done jobs all around the university.
What are some of the biggest lessons the iSchool taught you?
The biggest thing is time management. You’re juggling a lot of things. You have your technology classes, and your management classes. But you also learn plenty in your jobs, picking up a lot of skills. I had the chance to work at SIDEARM Sports for three years, and worked in the web development department here. I also had the chance to be on the division 1 cheerleading squad here. That’s made a big impact for me, it was a really cool way to give back to my school.
Would you do anything differently if you had the chance?
I would say start on the technical route earlier on. I didn’t start that until the end of my sophomore year. If I had the ability to know earlier, I would have started on the technical route then.
What are your plans after graduation?
I’ll be going out to Seattle, working for Amazon as a software development engineer. I interned with them last summer, in the same type of role. I loved it so much, that’s why I’m coming back. Now I will be in a technical role, which is exactly what I want to do.
For more about Chris’ internship experience, read “My Internship at Amazon: Welcome to the Jungle”
What are you going to miss the most?
I’m going to miss the freedom to choose what you want to do. When you’re working in the corporate world, you have a much more set schedule. In college, you have the freedom of what you want to do. You have the ability to change it up every six months with new classes. In corporate, you have the same thing to do every day until you get a new job or move to a new place.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I always want to be remembered as someone you can come to with any trouble or problem. If they’re school-related, or personal problems, I like to solve problems in people’s lives. I want to be the person who can help.
What advice would you give a first-year student?
Don’t be afraid to say yes to everything. You’re only here for four years, and you want to make your mark on it. Because it seems day-to-day, it doesn’t go fast. But the weeks roll by. One week you’re in class, and every week keeps passing by. You want to make the most of your time while you’re here. Especially when you do an internship, you have such a short time to do everything. Even when you’re an underclassman, you should do the most you can.
How do you feel about leaving Syracuse?
I’ve always been one that embraces change. I accept that I’m graduating. I’ll definitely miss the friends and connections I’ve made here, but I’m hoping that I’ll keep those connections as I go along.
What’s the value that Syracuse instilled in you the most?
It’s the acceptance of other people and other viewpoints in my life. I had the ability to study abroad, going and living in different cities like Chicago and Seattle. It’s given me the ability to embrace other viewpoints from in my life. So I can go out and say “Okay, there’s people different from me. How can I work with them and interact with them in general?” Now, I can put myself in other people’s shoes.
by Lianza Reyes