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- Shawn Edge '08 - Target
Shawn Edge '08 - Target
Shawn Edge '08 was always that neighborhood kid who got called over to a friend's house to set up a VCR or troubleshoot on the computer. He got his first computer in 1990 - a huge Hewlett Packard (75 megahertz) computer.
By the time he started his college search a dozen years later, he knew he wanted to major in information technology and gain hands-on practical experience, and the Curry College program seemed like a perfect fit.
Shawn, a native of Leominster, originally chose Curry based on two factors. One was the smaller, intimate size of the campus and student body, and the other was for specific academic reasons.
"While I was looking at prospective colleges, Curry seemed to be one of the only schools which offered an IT major. Most of the other schools only had Computer Science. The decision was easy."
Shawn enrolled and became active on campus in clubs such as the Video Game Society, but was most active in the classroom.
"When I started my college career at Curry I was moving really fast, I took 18-credit semesters," Shawn recalls. "I took classes in the wintertime; I took classes in the summertime."
Shawn credits his Applied Technology Professor Akram Ahmed with much of his success. Ahmed facilitated private independent studies for him, one at a local web design firm, Subioso Partners, and the other at bio-med research company, The Immune Disease Institute in Cambridge.
By his junior year, Shawn was close to completing all the credits needed to graduate. One of his professors asked if he had considered studying abroad. He hadn't, but had always wanted to go to Australia. Shawn was also completely fascinated by nanotechnology, which he'd been introduced to in the Cultural Impact of Technology course he'd taken in his sophomore year. Shawn decided to follow up on both these interests and within a month had a study abroad plan in place, heading to the University of Technology in Sydney.
"Studying nanotechnology in Australia was truly a life changing experience," Shawn says. "I spent six months, literally on the other side of the world, meeting new people, learning new cultures, and of course networking. I made friends with people who were from Germany, China, Switzerland, and South Africa. It was an amazing experience to network and develop those relationships. Now I could throw a dart at the map of the world and there would be a good chance I would know someone from that region."
Shawn gained employment in Boston in the IT field after graduation, and then moved to Silicon Valley to work as an engineer. He is now the Senior Quality Assurance Lead, Mobile for Target.
"My responsibilities are building out automation suites for the new Target iPad app, currently in the store. I am also responsible for putting together a process for the Target QA teams globally that will align better with today's current Agile/Scrum practices."
And it's the lessons he learned at Curry that helped him secure the position.
Shawn credits many of his classes and professors as being instrumental in helping him jump start his career, and says that as a student, he didn't realize how much what he was learning in the classroom would translate to the 'real world.'
"Curry gave me an education that has been so valuable to me," Shawn says. "I think what Curry does is it allows you to focus on a specific area, but also delve into many other areas and develop those basic skills that you really need to perform in a particular job. There have been people I have worked with and their communication skills or their writing skills are not that great, so I think it's great that Curry provides that kind foundation to help students build from."
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