School of Computing and Design
Students from SCD programs have gone on to work for design and technology companies in the Monterey region, Silicon Valley and beyond. Our students have built successful careers in computer technology companies, on the art, design and development side of the game industry or have gone on to many of the nation's best graduate schools.
Meet some of our graduates
Frank works for Takigawa Design, a firm that creates logos and designs for corporate identities and local regional businesses such as private schools, wineries, resorts, and agricultural companies. Frank enjoys his job because “working on projects is really fun and you get a great feeling when you see one of your jobs come back from the printer and it is crisp and fresh. That feeling is very rewarding.”
In regards to some acquired abilities from CSUMB, Frank values the different tasks he has been trained to do. “I am able to wear different hats at work because I have different skills. I am able to work with print, web, flash, networking, and many different forms of software and hardware.”
His advice for designs students is “not to be afraid to try different things. You also want to stick with the classes you enjoy because they will teach you a lot. More importantly don’t be afraid to change your ILP.”
His favorite class at CSUMB: “I really enjoyed action scripting with Ken Wanderman. The course was a very challenging course, but it was small and it was very collaborative. It made programming fun and understandable. We were able to learn a lot.”
Capstone: “I created a brand identity package for the Marina farmers market. It was called “Everyone’s Harvest,” It included printed materials as well as a website.”
His advice for current students: “I learned that in school the effort you put into anything is what you will get out of it. If you work hard and put your all into your work it will reflect in the quality of your work.”
Jason works as an object engineer for Maxis/Electronic Arts.
Jason loves his job because: “Everywhere you look around here, Maxis/Electronic Arts are always offering fun things for their employees to do. There’s a 24/7 gym, basketball courts, tennis, and beach volleyball. They also have pool, ping pong, foosball, air hockey, and free video games all over campus. We even had fire dancers here yesterday; it’s like working at the circus :)… The over all best thing about working on the Sims 2 is the excitement that rushes through me when I see one of my team’s commercials on primetime TV!”
In regards to some acquired abilities from CSUMB, Jason values his social skills: “To be honest my social skills are helping me the most. A lot of other employees here have gone to schools specializing in animation and different types of video game creation, but these private schools are very small. I believe that because I was always surrounded by college students and parties during my four years at CSUMB, it’s easier for me to meet everyone here.”
His advice to design students: “I realize that no design majors will agree with me, but I think it is really important that everyone be taught C++. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my action scripting class, but my job would be a lot easier if I had learned C++ first."
His favorite class: “I definitely enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of the 3D animation class the most. We learned at our own pace and we didn’t have to worry about tests!”
Capstone: “My team’s Capstone was called “Covert Measures.” I worked with my friends Mat and Kari in order to create the first 3D video game to come out of CSUMB. It’s a first person shooter that takes place in an underground warehouse. Working on this project was so much fun and was a major factor in my career choice.”
His advice for current students: “Be as social as possible. Go out and enjoy your college experience at CSUMB. The friends you make could become the people who get you hired at your dream job.”
Caroline is the award-winning webmaster for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. Caroline’s workday is varied depending on her projects, which can range from graphics to programming to administering the Healthcare Systems’ multiple websites. All her skills acquired at CSUMB come together with her self-taught abilities to manage the hospital’s web sites. Caroline found her current job while working part-time and used her CSUMB experience to land an interview, showing up with her CSUMB portfolio. These combined to get her the job on the spot. She believes a current trend for success is to know more than your competition.
Capstone: Designed and built web site with my capstone partner for four departments within CSUMB and MPC, based on a HCOM class and previous book.
Her advice to current students: “Be adaptable. My emphasis was more on design but programming and discrete math have been very useful in my career. In preparing for a job, thoroughly research the company with whom interviewing, and be prepared to ask informed questions. Your first impression starts when you walk through the door. Look the part for the job you would like to have. If it’s a formal environment go dressed for success.
Eric is the web and data base administrator for the Monterey superior courts. He is in charge of maintaining public websites in addition to managing databases, programming, and staying up to date with the latest technology. While his work can be demanding Eric believes that his education at ITCD prepared him for the work he is doing today. After earning his B.S., he had the opportunity to work for CSUMB as a web administrator for three years.
His work experience and his education at CSUMB and have given him the skills necessary to accomplish the different tasks he has been trained to do. Eric credits courses such as media tools and C++ because they gave him confidence and allowed him to develop the basic skills that are necessary to work effectively in the world of technology.
Capstone: To all the students currently working on their Capstone projects Eric’s advice is to, “always work on a project that you enjoy through out your education because the field work you will find will always be similar to your capstone project.”
His advice for current students: “Don’t just do the work that is assigned to you in class, go beyond the projects and the expectations and always have a side project. Always stay up to date on what you need to know.”
In regards to communication being important at work: “Communication is extremely important. Teams consists of many entities, including developers with a manager, SQA engineers with a manager and an engineering project manager. It is common to have weekly team meetings where all entities are present, developers and SQA also have individual meetings and cross-functional meetings usually happen on a bi-weekly basis, that are attended by localization, human interface, build engineering. etc. representatives. Most of the teams also communicate via WIKI (a community developed documentation project) that resides in a secure place online.”
Her recommendations for CSUMB improvement: “Hands-on practical experience. More high-quality projects to build up a portfolio. School relations with the industry.”
Her advice to current students: “Even though CSUMB ITCD's agenda is "broad vs deep", it is still very beneficial to specialize in a certain area. ‘Jack of All Trades’ are not that popular. It is good to have a broad understanding of things as long as you know some things in depth as well.”
Her most valuable memories from CSUMB: “Interactions with classmates. They are the ones that motivated and pushed me when I had no motivation :) Also stressful weeks and long nights working on the capstone. Really did not have a life when at CSUMB :D”
Joanna Lee is currently the Chief Operating Officer for KnowledgeSurf Technologies. KnowledgeSurf Technologies is a company that provides professional software services and creates online, mobile, and PC education games. They provide services in Santa Clara, California and in China. As the Chief Operating Officer Joanna’s main responsibility is to coordinate customer relationships between China and the United States. Her latest project is developing and creating more formal marketing tasks. Joanna shared that she has great passion for her work because she is able to understand technology while coordinating and managing different relationships. She also expresses how she enjoys that the company allows her to grow.
Her favorite course at CSUMB: “I really enjoyed the MSMIT program overall. I enjoyed it because it thought me how to communicate with others, especially as a manager and as an employee. I also learned how to effectively make contact with other individuals and create beneficial relationships that are important to my career.”
Her advice for current students: “Students should be serious about their work and what they are doing. They should also sit in the front row, know their faculty, be practical, and know that what you learn is useful, especially if you can apply it to your career.”