Hit the Tech
From Myspace to LEGOs, Computer Science student Julie Gauthier ’15 says technology can take you anywhere.
“I wasn’t really allowed to use a computer growing up,” admits Computer Science major Julie Gauthier ’15. “My mom just did not like it…so I wasn’t allowed to use it unless I was typing an essay for school,” she says. “But when mom went to work, I was on Myspace.”
That’s when Gauthier got her first experience with computer science, creating her own Myspace design layouts with HTML code. “I didn’t even know I was coding at that point, but I knew that I had a general interest in technology because it was the forbidden fruit,” she says.
Gauthier has come a long way from her days of tip-toeing around the family computer. Now a Seidenberg Scholar and lead developer and executive director of Seidenberg Creative Labs, her interest in computers and technology has expanded to everything from web development to robotics and automotive technology. This broad application of computer science is what Gauthier says maintains her interest in the field and is what makes it so unique. “It’s something you have to keep learning, but you can also work in absolutely any field that you want. One day I could be in health and the next I could be in art. It’s amazing,” she says.
Since attending Pace, Gauthier has built websites, advertisements, and social media pages for businesses; has led middle school girls to victory as a LEGO robotics mentor; and has even traveled with classmates to Helsinki, Finland, to participate in the Product Design Project at Aalto University Design Factory—three times. She will travel to Helsinki for a fourth time to participate in the Product Design Project later this spring.
Exploring opportunities like these has been a crucial aspect of Gauthier’s success at Pace. She says that working for the Creative Labs has been the best opportunity for her career, offering her project management experience, a portfolio, and years of applicable experience to land a job upon graduation; while joining the Kappa Delta sorority has been a fulfilling experience personally and professionally. “It’s been phenomenal for me to have that support from people outside of the computer science school, and it’s really helped me to build my confidence to do all of these cool things and take all of these amazing opportunities,” she says.
And when it comes to opportunities, Gauthier recalls one in particular which ultimately helped her choose Pace. On whim in high school, she decided to participate in the Seidenberg Summer Scholars Experience, giving her the chance to spend a week exploring programming and New York City with some of Seidenberg’s best professors. “I chose Pace because I already had a family at the computer science school before I came in. It was the type of community that I wanted to spend my time in,” she says.
She describes the Seidenberg community as small and closely-knit, offering her and other Computer Science students ample individual attention. Recently Gauthier has updated her resume as she begins applying for summer internships, and Seidenberg Associate Dean Jonathan Hill personally reviewed her application materials for her.
While Gauthier prepares for the next steps in her career, like Helsinki and internships, she keeps her eye on the big picture. “My dream job is to develop my own awesome products and work for myself,” she says. With all her experience in computer science, Gauthier envisions herself developing a new social media one day that would incorporate customizable elements through mild coding in an easy to use environment—similar to the Myspace layouts she used to design. Guess it’s a good thing that mom never caught her sneaking around the family computer.
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Daniella Pajonas ’19 is the co-founder and current co-president of the Queer Society, a queerleader for the LGBTQA and Social Justice Center, and an RA on the NYC Campus. With all that experience, she has plenty of advice for her fellow Setters!