Academic Tips for a Great Career in Tech

Hey, my name is Thao Pham, Technology, Data & Science Career Community Fellow! Welcome to our first Career Insight Series! Here is where we’ll be sharing career insights collected from each of our alumni, discussing interview tips, career preparation, and so much more!

Our first alumni guest today is Caileigh Marshall ‘19. Caileigh is a software engineer at 3M. She is also one of 3M’s recruiters – So watch out Denisonians! 

To begin our series, let’s talk about academics at Denison and how strategic students need to be when preparing for a career in Tech and Data Science. Caileigh has some advice to share:

Tech Career Insights

  1. Keep track of what you learned in class that is useful. 

There may be a plethora of things you will learn in your class, but not all of them are equally important and you may not remember them equally. Thus, it is important that you pay extra attention to things that employers will look for, such as common coding languages, etc. 

  1. Understand what classes that are useful for jobs and choose the electives that make sense. 

Going off of the last point, some things are more commonly used in the Tech industry than others. Therefore, it is critical that you are strategic about what classes you choose to make sure these classes align with your goals and the requirements of employers. This may not be straightforward, but it can be really helpful to talk to your professors and people you know who work in this industry. In Caleigh’s case, she took a Database course when studying abroad at Denison, which she now finds very helpful in her current role.

It is also very important to to enrich your knowledge on your own because Technology and Data is an ever changing industry. You’ll need to stay on top of the common tools used in the field to remain competitive. In Caileigh’s personal experience, she recommends the following to help students stand out:

  • Understanding AWS Cloud, it’s a critical tool everyone uses in the industry.
  • Learn C-Sharp and Java. These are heavily web development/applications used in the industry. You will stand out as a strong candidate if you develop these skills.
  • Get exposure to the Front – End Developing. We tend to learn more Back-End in school and focus more on theories and logic, but having skills in Front – End Development will give you an edge.

More about Caileigh: 

I graduated from Denison in 2019 with a double major in computer science and history. Aside from my classes, I was the president of the entrepreneurship club, a VP within my sorority, and was a teaching assistant and fellow for the computer science department. Originally from Minnesota, I came back to the land of 10,000 lakes to work at 3M after graduation. As a software engineer, I have worked on windows applications, firmware, databases, Python scripts, cloud architecture, UI/UX design, and full-stack development. I enjoy being crafty after work by sewing, cross-stitching and designing graphics for my online store.

Check out ways to connect with Caileigh on Knowlton connect HERE

By Thao Pham
Thao Pham Peer Career Fellow: Technology, Data and Science and Financial Services, Consulting and Business