BS computer science '04
(JD Ohio State University '07)
Occupation: Associate at Alston & Bird LLP
Residence: Charlotte, NC
Community activities: Squash league, running club
Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?
After doing my research, I knew I wanted to stay on the East Coast for college. After all the admissions decisions were in, it was between Rochester and Johns Hopkins. I decided on Rochester because I thought it would be a more supportive and friendly environment. I think it was a good call.
When and how did you choose your major?
I fell into it, to be honest. I had taken some courses on programming in high school and I loved playing video games, so computer science made sense when I first stepped on campus. Honestly, I'm not really sure there's a good way to pick a major. You just have to go with your gut.
What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?
I played squash for four years and was in the chamber orchestra for three. From squash I learned teamwork, commitment, and that hard work can actually get results. The chamber orchestra helped me appreciate music. Both experiences rounded out my college experience in a way that, I think, eluded some of my peers.
What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?
After graduation I went to law school. By the time I graduated, I didn't want to be a programmer and job prospects were not looking good either. Having found an interest in political science during college, I thought about how to combine both my interest in computers with this newfound interest in the law. Law school was the obvious answer.
What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?
The major focused more on learning abstract concepts than programming languages, and this focus improved my logical thinking skills. In particular, it taught me how to simplify tough questions into simpler questions, which I've realized is an amazingly valuable skill. I actually think that a computer science background is excellent preparation for law school.