Alexandra Thompson


Graduated: 2022


What was your MCS program of study?

Computer Science Specialist

What did you learn while at UTM?

I think my biggest takeaway from attending UTM is to find interest in the courses you take. Not overloading my course schedule and enjoying the courses I was in helped me stay motivated throughout my undergraduate degree. I also enjoyed taking courses in other departments, like English and Philosophy. It gave my brain a much-needed break from some intense computer science projects.

Can you share with us your career story to date?

While at UTM, I spent a lot of time as a teaching assistant and found I absolutely loved helping students succeed in their classes. Being a TA felt like my calling, so I was really interested in becoming a professor. Committing to an additional degree after my Bachelor's degree was not a choice I made lightly, but I learned to follow what really interested me. I decided to move to the United States after my time at UTM and started a Ph.D. program at Virginia Tech in Fall 2022. CS courses at UTM really prepared me for graduate school and my undergraduate research experience gave me the skills I needed to excel in my Ph.D. program.

Any advice on career planning and job search?

When in doubt about career planning, go with what you're interested in and see if you like it. I only started doing internships after I started graduate school. However, if I could go back, I would have started looking for summer internships sooner, as now I feel like I have a better understanding of my career options. Definitely see if PEY is right for you or seek your own internships out because it can be hard to know what careers you like until you try them out!

Can you share any industry insights?

Personally, finding a company that sincerely values its employees is much more important to me than an extremely high salary. I know the tech industry can be a bit daunting with the amount of layoffs and turnover a lot of companies have. Regardless, please know your value and ensure you are interviewing companies just as much as they are interviewing you. I have worked with really great companies so far who heavily value their employees and sincerely care about work-life balance. Holding your head high and setting your expectations is an important way to make sure you find a company that treats you well and pays you what you're worth.

How can MCS students connect with you? 





alexandra thompson