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Picking a Tech Career: It's 'Not Just the Money'

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Amelia Hernandez sits on the ECU campus with her laptop computer

It's "more important that you're willing to learn as you go than it is to have all of the qualifications to start," says ECU student Amelia Hernandez.

Credit: East Carolina University

Even with both older brothers in the computer science field, one of whom taught her how to build webpages in high school, Amelia Hernandez didn't initially consider a career in tech. "I just wanted to get into a career path where I could make a lot of money to spend during my free time on things I actually did enjoy," says Hernandez.

She's now a fourth-year student pursuing a bachelor's degree in software engineering with a concentration in data science at East Carolina University. She had joined the school's blockchain club as a freshman. "As I got more involved in tech on campus, I started to genuinely enjoy it, so here I am."

Last year, Hernandez served as president of the College of Engineering and Technology's Women in Technology. She will become chair of ECU's chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery.

As a member an ECU Innovation Design Lab team, Hernandez "did tons of research, consulted with companies, developed demo applications, and gave a bunch of presentations with the help of the IDL and our mentors," she says. "That experience was my first real taste of working in tech and business, rather than just studying it." She has been a product manager intern with IBM the past two summers.

From East Carolina University
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