Meet Your Fall 2021 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

JAYE CHEN

Why I want to be a mentor: To support and meet awesome people!
My background: Happy to share my experience in
product management and learning CS with an academic background in MBA/BA.
Classes Taken: 591, 592, 594
Cohort: Fall 2020

JOHN RIVELLO

Why I want to be a mentor: I have mentored many individuals throughout my career, and I greatly enjoy listening to the challenges they are facing, asking questions, and offering advice when I can or connecting them to others. I am fortunate to have been working in tech for many years, and I want to give back by helping others advance their careers as effectively as possible to meet and exceed their goals.
My background: I have been working as a web developer for over 20 years. My undergraduate degree was in Graphic Design, and my career gradually shifted from part design and part to development work to entirely focused on web development and software engineering. I also did a brief 2+ year stint as a software engineering manager, and fortunately was able to shift back to the individual contributor path when it was clear that was where I wanted my career to go.
Classes Taken: 591-596, 549, 582 Enrolled: 551
Cohort: Spring 2019

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

PATRICK LEE

Why I want to be a mentor: MCIT has been an interesting and pivotal point in my career and life. I would like to share what I have experienced / learnt in the program so far and to share how transformative this program has been for me and my career. Further I would like to share with students my passion at the intersection of Computer Science and Finance / Accounting, and love to further connect on travels and amazing experiences outside of work and school.
My background: Currently a Director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (PwC) focusing my work in accounting and finance with emerging tech companies who are leading the way in technology. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto in Canada and attained my first Master in Management at Harvard Extension School. Happy to connect and chat further about higher education and specific topics about being a first-gen college graduate and diversity and inclusion. I also love to travel (been to 600+ cities) and scuba diving in exotic places across the planet (best dive — Manta Ray night dive on Big Island, Hawaii)
Classes Taken: 591-593, Enrolled: 595
Cohort: Fall 2020

FIONA FENG

Why I want to be a mentor: I am from a non-tech background,and really interested in meeting people from different areas to expand my horizons.
My background: I am a strategic analyst focusing on deriving insights from various survey data to help senior executives to make critical business decisions. Natural Language Processing is one of my areas of interest. I finished my Bachelor of Finance within 3 years when working full-time, and now I am doing the same thing for MCIT. Outside of work and school, I like to travel, read books, arts. I was born and raised in southern China (Yes, I speak Cantonese), but I spent most of my time in New York. I recently moved to Texas because I don’t like to clean up snow during winter 🙂
Classes Taken: 591, 592, 594, Enrolled: 596, 521
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

YAYING LIANG

Why I want to be a mentor: I want to help the communty grow
My background: I was a high school math teacher in one of the top performing high school in the US and decided to switch to tech field after the pandemic. I am taking class full-time now besides serving 591 and 594 as a TA.
Classes Taken: 591, 592, 594
Cohort: Spring 2021

ANGELA DENG

Why I want to be a mentor: I have had life changing mentors throughout my life, and I hope to give back all of the invaluable support, guidance and advice I’ve gotten to future mentees and students. This program is extremely challenging and I hope to use my experiences to help and support future cohorts.
My background: My undergrad was in Finance, and I am currently a Program Manager at a tech startup in Seattle. I can be available to chat about whatever they need support in, have questions on, or if they just want a program buddy to talk about life with. Going through this program 100% online can feel isolating at times, but my goal is to make sure they’re aware that they have the support they need to succeed.
Classes Taken: 591-593
Cohort: Fall 2020

TIFFANY CHIEN

Why I want to be a mentor: I got tremendous support from my mentor and the MCITO community when I was a mentee last semester. I want to give back to the community by sharing my experience and providing support to others.
My background: I was a dietitian and went to law school in Taiwan. I decided to pivot into Tech when I moved to the states in 2020 and I got into MCIT Online in 2021 Spring. Career shifting is always difficult with no previous experience in tech and language barrier. To overcome the obstacles, I seek advice from people in the MCIT Online community and I am lucky enough to receive an internship offer from FAANG. Knowing how it is to make a career pivot, I am happy to share my experience in finding opportunities and overcoming the language barrier.
Classes Taken: 591, 592, 594, 596, Enrolled: 550
Cohort: Spring 2021

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