You never know where an ordinary conversation could lead – for graduate Sam Lemon (‘20), a simple chat with a previous neighbor resulted in a full-time job.
Sam was a computer science major at the College of Charleston, and he always knew he wanted to incorporate coding into his career. Shortly after graduating, he was offered a position as a Software Engineer and now uses coding daily to address client needs.
“I landed this position in a roundabout way. I ran into this old neighbor of mine from growing up and I started talking with him about how I just graduated college with a major in computer science. He has a cyber security company along with other businesses, and he said he needed an intern to help around the office. So, I joined to help with IT in the office. Shortly after, he wanted to create a startup for a software company called primal. He brought me on to the team along with two other software engineers.”
Sam’s office has a small engineering team and a sales team. The sales team brings in clients with software needs and the software engineering team works to address those needs, such as editing web pages to give them more functionality, creating apps, and finding solutions to current software. Sam and his team have also worked on projects creating databases, aggregating data, and displaying the data on customizable dashboards.
“My favorite thing to do is digging into the code and trying to figure out creative and efficient ways to solve whatever kind of problem is thrown at me. The Computer Science Department at the College did a great job of making me feel confident that I could pick up and learn any kind of coding language or style that I would need for the job.”
Additionally, Sam took advantage of many opportunities as a student that prepared him to succeed in his industry such as attending career fairs and the Biz Bash, a computer science department networking event. Although he didn’t find his current position through these events, taking advantage of these opportunities gave him interviewing experience and allowed him to meet other professionals in the field. Attending these events every year also boosted his confidence in talking with advanced professionals in the industry, a skill of which came in handy when running into his past neighbor! His biggest piece of career advice is to grow and engage with your network. It just might lead to your dream job!
-Camille Hamrick, Career Counselor