Computer science alums urge students: Forge your own path
Three CMU-Q computer science graduates returned to campus to share their experiences with students. Lulwa Ahmed, Ahmad Al Salama and Naassih Gopee spoke at Tartan Talks, a quarterly forum where alumni speak about life after CMU-Q.
Khaled Harras, associate teaching professor and program director of computer science, led his former students in the discussion that often touched on the unexpected challenges of finding a career with a computer science degree.
Ahmed, who in 2014 became the first CMU-Q student to earn dual degrees in computer science and business administration, noted: “I always wanted to be in a highly technical role, but then I recalled Professor Khaled saying that there are a range of different career paths to explore with a computer science degree”. Ahmed now works as a project manager and business analyst at Gulf Business Machines, bridging the technical and business teams.
Although he first intended on pursuing graduate studies, Gopee has instead turned to entrepreneurial pursuits. “While I was a junior, I spent a semester in Pittsburgh where I set up my own start-up in fin-tech. The project applies machine learning to finance data, and I’ve been doing it for almost three years now,” he explained. Gopee is building his start-up, Inpleo, with a team of fellow CMU alums.
After pursuing a more traditional path after graduation through the digital technology leadership program at General Electric, Al Salama plans to start his own venture as well. “I always knew I wanted to pursue entrepreneurship,” he remarked. “My advice to students is that if you’re unable to secure the job you want, forge your own path.”
All three alumni noted that CMU-Q faculty members have been—and continue to be—important mentors. “I wish I had taken even more time to interact with faculty members while I was a student,” said Gopee. “They have so much knowledge and wisdom, I still come back and ask them for guidance.”