Say Yes to the Unexpected: How my job as a Pearson Campus Ambassador made me a better software developer
College is competitive and becoming an engineer involves a lot of late hours in the lab. Therefore when I had the chance to become a Pearson Campus Ambassador, I wasn’t sure if it would be worth fitting into my busy schedule. However, being a PCA has been a college highlight that has taught me more about my major than I ever could have imagined.
The first time I felt my job overlapping my software development studies was at the International Society for Technical Education (ISTE) conference in Chicago. I had the fantastic opportunity to showcase Pearson applications on the Microsoft Hololens and got the chance to meet many members of the engineering team at Microsoft. They were terrific at answering my questions and gave me a feel for their company outside of the recruitment scene. Additionally, I got to meet several members of Pearson’s VR team and learned a lot about the process used to make Hololens applications.
The benefits of being a PCA don’t stop at the special events. I have the opportunity to witness the development process in all different stages through focus groups and beta testing. This first-hand view has been incredibly helpful in connecting classroom concepts to real life and made their importance more clear. My favorite example was the recent Wayfinder project on which I got to help. The first time that I got to work with the Wayfinder team, they were in the original mocking stages and the product was nothing more than static drawings. I learned a lot about the planning stages of development and continued to learn more when I got to meet with the team months later and see the first functioning prototype.
As a PCA, I get the chance to share my voice on the products that students use every day; however, I never expected how that would impact me. When I first applied for the job, I wasn’t sure if it was the right fit, but now I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to help change the way others learn and to see the consumer side of the developer’s process.
Challenge yourself and say yes to the unexpected even if you think it may be hard. It may help you in ways you could never imagine!
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