Meet Your Spring 2022 Peer Mentors!

SEAN BIVINS

Why I want to be a mentor: I have benefited from having great mentors in my career, and feel it is only right that I do my part to give back. I also love meeting and learning from new people, so win-win!
My background: I graduated from Penn in 2017 with a finance degree, and am now making a full career change to software. I also recently moved to Mexico City in 2019 to fulfill my dream of living and working in a foreign country. I would be more than happy to talk to students looking to career change (especially finance to tech), relatively recent grads still trying to figure it out, and those interested in making the jump to work and live in another country.
Classes Taken: 591-596, 542, Enrolled: 550
Cohort: Spring 2020

RACHEL HOWARD

Why I want to be a mentor: I would like to share my experiences in the MCIT program with new students in order to provide moral support and to give them an additional outlet to ask any questions they may have.
My background: My background is in mathematics, and I have spent the past decade working in international education as a math and physics teacher. I originally applied to MCIT in order to pursue software engineering, but after taking 592/596, I have realized that my true interests like in the field of data analysis and algorithm design. I would love to chat with other students about both topics, as well as the time management skills required to succeed in the MCIT program while pursuing a full time job.
Classes Taken:
591, 592, 594, 596, 542, Enrolled: 593
Cohort:
Fall 2020

MENGHAN FU

Why I want to be a mentor: I’m happy to listen to and share my stories as a part of MCIT Online’s student community.
My background:
I’m a data and ops enthusiast with professional experience in different sectors and places around the world. Career wise, I most recently transitioned from business development into a technical product management role in Big Data. MCIT Online allows me to build a solid technical foundation for my work. I am based in Philadelphia, PA with cats Harry and Josephine and enjoy reading science fiction and doing home renovations in my spare time.
Classes Taken:
591 – 593
Cohort:
Spring 2021

BEKA MODEBADZE

Why I want to be a mentor: I went through a bunch of trial and error processes to get into the software engineering field and want to share the experience and knowledge I obtained with others to help them better navigate this transition.
My background: I’m a Software Engineer at Agilent Technologies, utilizing C# and .NET environment and occasionally Python. I’ve contributed to open-source projects and maintain one – Linux terminal program vizex. The program visually displays disk usage and directory data within a terminal. It’s like a combination of popular Linux commands du, df, ls but on steroids. Previously I worked as a Data Scientist.
Classes Taken: 591 – 595, Enrolled: 547
Cohort: Fall 2021

LAUREN POON

Why I want to be a mentor: When you’re just starting out it is a relief to have someone by your side. I’ve career-changed and pivoted a number of times now and would like to share my experiences with new students, provide moral support, and be part of their journey!
My background: My early career and undergraduate education was in Education and Dietetics. I pivoted into a career in technology through IBM’s Apprenticeship Program where I learned industry specific technology. I worked in the Data and AI team with Healthcare, Education, and Government entities. After honing my skills in Data and Analytics, Sales, and Product Management, I longed to take my education and expertise further and applied to MCIT. The journey has not been easy, but the support of MCIT has made all the difference. Wherever I go next, I hope to continue supporting other career changers and women in tech.
Classes Taken: 591-595, 515, 521
Cohort: Fall 2020

CAMERON RIEMENSNIDER

Why I want to be a mentor: I wanted to be a mentor to help people get into either engineering or product management. I didn’t have as many resources I wanted as I tried to transition to product, so I’d like to be that resource for others! I also successfully completed a career transition from law into software engineering in my second semester of MCIT, so I’m happy to help on that front as well!
My background: I’ve had an interesting career! I earned my JD from WashU in St. Louis and became a licensed California attorney. I worked for a while in legal recruiting and then decided I wanted to transition to tech, which led me to MCIT. In my second semester of the program, I secured a role as a software engineer at a MarTech startup called Stack Moxie. After 9 months in that role and moving closer to product, I moved to my current role as an Associate Product Manager of Legal Intelligence at Ontra. In my current role, I work heavily with other teams to bring new machine learning features into our app to help automate attorneys workflows, leveraging my background as a technologist and attorney to do so.
Classes Taken: 591-595, 521, 582, 550
Cohort: Fall 2020

JULIA THORNE

Why I want to be a mentor: I’ve learned so much during my MCIT experience so far, not just in my courses, but also from my peers who have come from so many different interesting backgrounds. I’m looking forward to giving back by sharing my background and knowledge with other students!
My background: Pre-MCIT, I studied linguistics and speech-language pathology, and I worked as a speech pathologist in healthcare settings for about 5 years before the pandemic spurred me to start looking for a career change. My goal is to transition to either language, healthcare, or accessibility-related technology as a software engineer. I’m currently a full time student and a Head TA for 593, and will be starting an internship at a healthcare tech start-up this summer. I’m located in Washington DC at the moment, but I grew up in rural PA and have lived in many different cities over the years, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Montreal, and London.
Classes Taken: 591-596, Enrolled: 521, 551
Cohort: Spring 2021

YINYING LI

Why I want to be a mentor: I really enjoy growing with my peers and would like to share my internship application experience.
My background: Hi! I’m Yinying. Before joining MCIT online program in Spring 2021, I studied Education at Columbia University and was an educational consultant. I have two beautiful dogs and love singing.
Classes Taken: 591-596, Enrolled: 521
Cohort: Spring 2021

JIMMY LI

Why I want to be a mentor: Mentorship fosters a strong community. We are all in this together!
My background: Before MCIT, I worked as an Account Executive at an IT Advisory firm in Canada. With a background in business, I am an aspiring Solutions Engineer.
Classes Taken: 591-594
Cohort: Spring 2021

MAI NGUYEN

Why I want to be a mentor: I’m fortunate to have met people in my professional career that are willing to listen and give me their time and advice. I look forward to giving back to the MCITO community with this program, meeting new students of MCITO, lending an ear and helping in any way I can.
My background: My undergraduate background is in Chemical Engineering. I worked as a Project Engineer for a few years, transitioned to Application Engineer, then finally am working as a Software Engineer now while being in MCITO.
Classes Taken: 591-596, 521, Enrolled: 595
Cohort: Fall 2020

ANDREW CHO

Why I want to be a mentor: Meet fellow classmates with similar interests and industries! And I used MCIT to land my dream job so would like to encourage others to theirs.
My background: Data science @ BMW, Duke Statistics ’17
Classes Taken: 591-596, 521, 550, 582
Cohort: Fall 2019

CONNOR HAUSE

Why I want to be a mentor: Thanks in part to the mentorship of a select few I’ve been fortunate to cross paths with, I’m in a great place right now with my career and education. I couldn’t think of a better way to pay it forward than by partnering with my peers in MCIT. Together, we can discover a better work/life balance, a career leveraging their education, and so much more!
My background: I’m a Sr. Application Engineer with Vanguard in Malvern, PA where I have been for the last 2 years now. Before MCIT & Vanguard, I graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. in Astrophysics, conducted research under NASA and NSF grants, and worked at a start-up developing payment processing software.
Classes Taken: 591-593, Enrolled: 595
Cohort: Fall 2020