This summer, Aniya Moise will graduate from Humanities Preparatory Academy in Manhattan and has the honor of being the valedictorian of her class. A fierce advocate for human rights—whose hobbies include reading, protesting, coding, and eating exotic foods—Aniya will attend Smith College in the fall where she is planning to double major in computer science and special education. Aniya is an alumna of CS4All’s Pathfinders and Advanced Pathfinders Internship Programs, through which she interned for Ernst & Young and the CS4All team. We asked Aniya to tell us more about her experience with computer science and internships.
How did you become interested in computer science?
I became interested in computer science when I was placed in my school’s first AP Computer Science course. The course was really hard at first but I eventually got the hang of it. I wasn’t always interested in computer science. Prior to the course, I wanted to become a history teacher. But learning computer science changed my mind.
What skills have you learned from computer science?
My problem-solving skills have gotten better. The underlying theme of any computer science-related field is your ability to problem solve.
What were some challenges you’ve faced while learning computer science, and how did you overcome them?
A challenge I faced while learning computer science was actually practicing it. I did not have a computer at home to practice, so I would have to wait until I went to school to practice computer science. In order to overcome that challenge, I saved up money and split the cost of a new Mac with my parents. Ever since then I have been practicing coding.
How has an education in computer science helped to prepare you for college and a career?
An education in computer science has helped me prepare for college and a career because I learned how to develop the skills needed for my career such as coding, problem-solving, and math and technology concepts.
What advice would you give to students who are on the fence about learning computer science?
Some advice I would give is to learn at your own pace, practice a lot, and if you don’t know how to do something, Google it. When I started coding I thought I had to remember every little thing, but you actually don’t. It’s important to remember the basics of a language, but not everything. Also, do not be intimidated when you meet someone who knows more languages than you. Eventually, you’ll learn the same amount.
Why did you decide to apply for the Pathfinders Internship Program?
I applied for Pathfinders to experience a professional workplace. Prior to Pathfinders, I had no idea about the dos and don’ts of the corporate world. Now I know way more than before and plan on carrying those lessons into my career.
Has your experience in Pathfinders helped you be better prepared for college and a career?
My experience as a Pathfinder has prepared me for college and a career because I learned the rules and dress codes of an office. Since my internship, I have been on lots of college interviews that have had dress codes. Thanks to Pathfinders, I dress appropriately. Pathfinders also taught me about time management and introduced me to the Post-it note way of completing tasks.
What was the most valuable part of your Advanced Pathfinders experience?
The most valuable part of my Advanced Pathfinders experience was interacting with teachers. By talking to teachers I learned about what needs to be fixed within the education system. I heard a lot of horror stories, but also learned more about the teaching position. I also got to meet special education teachers. In college I will be double majoring in computer science and special education, so meeting someone besides my Mom who teaches special education was refreshing. Also, the CS4All staff gave me timeless advice about life and college. It was great and entertaining hearing different perspectives from the staff.
What have you learned from participating as an Advanced Pathfinder that you will take with you as you move forward with your college and career plans?
I have learned so much from participating as an Advanced Pathfinder. I learned a lot about college and financial aid. I learned a lot about event planning and hospitality. The most important thing I learned is taking initiative, thinking quick on my feet, and how to communicate. I learned most of this through check-ins, interactions with teachers, and the CS4All staff. I will take all of this with me in college and career plans.
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