ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: William Phillips
Name: William Phillips
High School Attended: Mount Vernon High School
Year of High School Graduation: 2017
Name of College(s) and Degrees Held: University at Buffalo - Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Year of College Graduation: 2021
Current Job Title: Software Engineer at L3Harris Technologies
Describe what you are doing now
I have just completed my fourth year of studying at SUNY University at Buffalo and acquired my degree in Computer Science. I will be starting my career as a Software Engineer at L3Harris Technologies in their Space and Air-borne Systems division.
How did your education in the MVCSD prepare you for your future?
Taking courses such as Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Calculus and Physics helped me prepare for the mathematical concepts one would encounter when pursuing an engineering degree.
What message would you like to give to current MVCSD students?
Acquiring an engineering degree is difficult but not impossible. It is possible that you will face various trials throughout your college education that will make you second guess whether an engineering career is right for you. From my perspective, the key qualities of an engineer is to enjoy problem solving, to be creative, and have a curious mindset. With these three qualities and having the passion, dedication and interest in engineering, you can have a successful career in this field no matter what issues you may face.
Was there a class or club that influenced your career path?
Mount Vernon High School’s Mobile App Development Team and Mount Vernon’s Northeast STEM Starter Academy (NSSA) had a big influence in my career path. I participated in the NSSA winter stem program from 2015-2017. There I received my first interactive exposure to computer science and engineering by learning how to build and program robots. After my first year, I wanted to further challenge myself and take more programming courses at Mount Vernon High School but unfortunately none were offered at the time. However, I was encouraged to compete in the Westchester Mobile Application Development Competition - a team competition missioned to develop a mobile application to assist older adults to become acclimated with technology. I had gathered eight of my closest friends to form MVHS’s mobile app team at the time. This competition lasted for two months and, at the end of it, our team had built an award-winning mobile app that allowed older adults to shop online, read articles, play mind-strengthening games, and contact their caregiver or 911 at a touch of a button. Our application had placed 3rd place out of 250 high school and college students in Westchester County.