Rachel Rivera: Plugging into a new career as a software engineer

 

Recent computer science grad Rachel Rivera is plugging into a new career as a software engineer with Pandora Internet Radio in Oakland, Calif. following a successful internship last summer.  The Colorado Springs native is on their “scale team,” providing a quality experience for users by ensuring the seamless operation of its many features.

“LMU was the perfect-sized school for me and my concentration,” Rachel said.  “I had so much amazing one on one time with professors.  I do not think I would have stuck with computer science if I had not received the kind of personalized attention I did.”

LMU’s aim to “educate the whole person” was something Rachel says she felt profoundly in every aspect of her college experience:

“LMU helped me see and understand the world from a different vantage point.  For example, I took a general philosophy and ethics course that talked a lot about goodness and it was so cool because I could actually see mathematical reasoning bleeding into philosophy, how philosophical arguments are constructed in the same fashion as mathematical proofs… the world coming full-circle for a brief moment.”

In addition to being a part of the University Honors program, Rachel was also a member of the campus hip-hop dance troupe Kuumba Beatz, and believes that the bonds she made with her fellow Lions will stand the test of time.

“The absolute best thing about LMU is the people,” Rachel said, “just the kindest, brightest bunch you could wish for.”

And she says that goes double for the professors, who pair their high expectations with support and guidance, not to mention an 11:1 student-to-teacher ratio.

"You can really see that the professors take an interest in their students,” Rachel said, “something I didn’t see at a couple of the state schools I visited, where you are just a number, not an individual.”

Looking to the future, Rachel hopes to acquire the skills necessary to grow and build a company while at Pandora and is keen on pursuing a graduate degree in Theoretical Computer Science.

“The opportunities available at LMU are vast and my biggest piece of advice, besides to get involved, is to get to know your professors really well and take advantage of the small-school setting.”