"Interview with ACES Alumnus Emmanuel Uwadiegwu" by Juan Cerda ('16)

1.     How did the ACES center influence your role as a student at St. Joseph’s College?

I believe the ACES program contributed a great deal to my appreciation for other fields outside the scope of my major; for example, my interest in Jazz and politics. This made my college years more enjoyable!

2.     If you had to do it all over again from freshman to senior year, what would you do differently as a student at SJC?

Honestly, nothing I can think of. The ups and downs throughout my college experience have shaped the way I think of my surroundings. I doubt I’d want to see things differently from the ‘critical’ way I see things now—critical, because I try to be conscious of my being and those around me.

3.     What did you learn from your extra-curricular activities and volunteer experiences at St. Joseph’s College?

I had the privilege to lead the Philosophy Club, for a while at St. Joe’s. During my regime as club president, we had several volunteer activities that taught the importance of communal help—on MLK day, 2014, we painted several apartments of mothers victimized by domestic violence and served at the food bank. These little efforts made by everyone in the club and others who joined on that day, amounted to many smiles and a better living place. Taking a lead role and working with the club’s executives taught me about the importance of cooperation, not just within the club or at school, but with people coming from different walks of life.

4.     Why did you choose your major? What factors or experiences influenced your decision to choose CIS as your academic program?

Not to sound futurist, but I think the future is technology—computers, or software, or whatever you want to call them. I think we are going through another bubble that will last many years or perhaps forever. The world is propagating towards this direction and there isn’t a stop at sight. I discovered this was something I wanted to be a part of and contribute to, thus my reasoning for pursuing a CIS major.

5.     What are your career goals and how did SJC help you in shaping those goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

As of now, I am an Android developer. This was pretty much the career path I was aiming for, given my Java background from St. Joe’s. I hope to get to a senior position in the coming years (can’t say if it will take 5 years or more, or less), but the plan is to keep moving while exploring other interests, lucrative or not.

6.     If you were a hiring manager, what kind of college graduates would you hunt for and why? (Qualities? Skills? Etc.)

Passionate graduates who can communicate earnestly! This is key, for me at least. A certain level of confidence, rapport and wittiness are things I’d look out for. These hint that as a candidate you’re adaptable and can adjust given any situation. In short, it shows you can strive and apply similarly when problem-solving…or so I’d like to think. Then again, I may not make a great hiring manager.

7.     How did your coursework at SJC help you in preparing for your first job? How did you prepare to land your first job?

I took harder classes, classes outside my core; classes that I thought would add a thing or two to my knowledge base. I tried as much as possible not to make it about the grade, but more about what I thought I’d take away with me by the end of the semester. Professor Nevins, retired Philosophy professor at St. Joe’s, said to me, “if you’re the same person after college, you haven’t really learned anything.” So I tried to learn as much—not to be a different person though, but a better one (programmer, in one instance). This mindset landed me my first job and can land anybody anywhere, I think…depending on how you apply it.

8.     If you were asked to identify yourself with one word, what would it be and why?

Thinker—because I think too much. Really, I need a break.

9.     If you could have been told one thing that you weren't told when you were in college, what would you like to have heard?

That Spring break isn’t observed outside college.

10.  What is the most interesting aspect of your daily work activities?

Besides coding or untangling Fragment Activities, breaking with co-workers is fun. It’s a relaxed atmosphere at work.

11.  What is the most important piece of advice you would give to an incoming freshman?

Be yourself, keep pushing. We all did it, so can you... but if and only if you keep going, despite circumstances.