"Get involved with your interests during your time at AOC. If you’re looking to go into programming or robotics, there are tons of resources online to take advantage of."
Here is one of my robotic creations at WPI!
First signs of interest- My family and I attended the DARPA robotics challenge, the robots at which played a big part in me wanting to pursue robotics.
Joining FRC team 691 at the start of high school- I joined the district robotics team almost immediately after starting at AOC. I was immediately hooked into being an avid participant, spending a large amount of time with the team throughout my 4 years at AOC.
First serious exposure/intro to programming- During my first semester at AOC, I also took an introduction to computation with python online class offered by MIT through edX. This is where my interest in robotics grew more into an interest in programming robots.
Acceptance into WPI- Although not being my first choice initially, it quickly grew on me as my favorite of all the colleges I’ve applied to after learning more about them and their unique robotics degree program.
Web developer nanodegree- The summer before going off to WPI and after graduating from AOC, I enrolled in an online nanodegree program from Udacity for web development with Python to increase my competitiveness and learn more advanced topics.
Introduction to the WPI robotics community- Upon starting at WPI, I immediately felt how similar the robotics community was to the community on team 691 and knew it was the place for me to be, later giving back to that community by becoming a student assistant for robotics classes.
Internships at Red Hat- My first and second internships at Red Hat helped me discover what kind of work environment I’d like to work in and what kind of colleagues I’d like to have at a workplace.
First full-time job at Geisel Software - After graduating from my undergrad program, I joined a small software and robotics contracting company near my school while I continue my education in pursuing a Master's degree in Robotics Engineering. I currently work on a team partnered with Amazon Robotics.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
FRC Robotics Team 691
Online tech classes/projects
National Honor Society
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Unified Robotics Class Student Assistant
Internships at Red Hat (now owned by IBM)
Even more individual projects such as computer dorm assistant
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
As of now (September 2021) I've started my last year in my BS/MS program towards getting a Master's degree in Robotics Engineering. Also over the summer, I joined Geisel Software as a full-time software engineer. I plan to stick around in Massachusetts to complete my Master's degree and spend a few years getting to work on a bunch of cool robotics projects at Geisel and connecting with all the awesome people that work there. Afterwards I plan to come home to California to continue my career in robotics.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: The more “General Ed” classes you take during AOC, the more freedom you will have to explore your interests during college in the same amount of time.
Advice #2: Get involved with your interests during your time at AOC. These days, there are tons of resources online to take advantage of. Especially if you’re looking to go into programming or robotics, go online and check out different beginner tutorials/classes/guides to get yourself exposed.
Advice #3: Get to know your AOC teachers and COC professors, especially those teaching topics similar to your interests, as letters of recommendation are important both for getting into college and during your time in college.