Hopefully, after looking through my project experience, you've able to get a sense of some of the things I'm most interested in. The past few years have been years of tremendous opportunity – both inside and outside of the classroom – and I've been able to dive deep into a lot of computer science specializations.
Of course, the real significance is not in project deliverables, but in the intangible benefits – the knowledge, skills, and abilities. Learning must extend beyond the classroom. College serves as a great way to kick-start students into their careers, but it soon becomes apparent that collegiate knowledge mainly serves to get you in the door, and that learning has only begun.
In reality, my experiences so far have served to prepare me for the future. For example, while I may not be writing web applications for my job, the self-discipline, good practices, and collaboration skills will take me much further than the scope of the original project. Experiences matter, and I'm now a much more well-rounded person than I was a few years ago. Sure, I'm a better programmer, but I've picked up on competencies that would never have been my first thought, like the implications of cultural diversity and ethics, or the dynamics of unifying a team. These are the experiences that I will carry with me into the future.
So ultimately, I have a way better understanding of my field than I could have ever anticipated, and it's not for the reasons I would have guessed. I've got some great technical experience, but I've found that some of the greatest values in school and/or work are often found outside of the suspected range of experiences. Like I mentioned before, I'm a better programmer, sure, but I've learned so much more than just the technical knowledge. It's not just limited to computer science; A&M and my internships have provided me with a wealth of exposure across all kinds of disciplines, and as a result, I've gained a more broad, open perspective on life. In the end, these kinds of experiences have served to form some critical components of who I am and how I fit into society.