A Computer Science Grad in the World of Finance
Computer science impacts every industry in our society. Companies have to adapt their business models to allow clients the ability to leverage technology in a way that is functional, yet safe and secure.
While still a student at NC State, Charles D'Andrea, a 2010 computer science graduate, attended the College of Engineering Career Fair. He did not expect to see Fidelity Investments, a financial services company, but he checked it out anyway. And he's glad he did.
After being hired, he took part in their 6-month, in-house training program. His first project was to join the team that was developing an app for the iPad, something he had been interested in before he joined the company. The firm introduced the iPad app in August 2010 and Charles has moved on to other projects.
"Technology really changes quickly. In just my first few months at Fidelity Investments, I was offered a number of opportunities to present new ways of doing things."
Charles is part of the internal software development team at Fidelity Investments. He helps develop tools that support the changing needs of investors.
"I feel like I was well prepared coming out of NC State. Getting to know other students, the professors, and the faculty….taking part in all the on-campus opportunities like ACM/AITP (the student chapters of the Association for Computing Machinery/Association of Information Technology Professionals)… these are the things that rounded out my resume and contributed to who I am now as a professional. It all gave me an edge. Companies are looking for the next wave of leaders."
Charles joined ACM/AITP as a freshman and spent his junior and senior years as a co-president. For Charles, beyond the networking, the socializing, and the technology, there was sense of social responsibility. The organization's Geek-A-Thon put his technical skills to work refurbishing old computers to give away to underprivileged middle school students.
"Professionally, it is good to know that your work helps people; the work we do helps us better serve our customers. But working with the Geek-A-Thon gave me a chance to look someone in the eye and see that I had done something good for him."
This is an exciting time for Charles. He credits his opportunities and experiences in the NC State Computer Science department with his easy transition into "Corporate America". He likes knowing how his work is being used and knowing that his efforts are making a difference in serving customers better.
Charles makes sure to bring back to NC State the same opportunities that were presented to him. At this year's College of Engineering Career Fair, Charles was on the other side of the table, this time representing Fidelity Investments. He spent the day encouraging students to get involved in student organizations while in college, and reminding them that every industry has a place for a computer scientist!