Name: Synteche R.
Hometown: Warrenton, VA
Major(s): Electrical Engineering
Current job: Threat Analyst at SRI International
Tell us a little about the path from graduation to your current job/career: Senior year I was more focused on balancing a very heavy course load and graduating than I was on considering what life after graduation meant. After graduation, I worked as a substitute teacher (which I absolutely loved) in Virginia for some time while I began applying for engineering jobs. I was called out of the blue by the headhunter of a company I had not applied for, ended up loving what the job opportunity was, and went through three rounds of interviews after which I was offered the job. Within a few short weeks I went from subbing to moving back to Maryland and starting a full-time job as a Modeling, Simulations, and Test Engineer. After working in this position for 2.5 years, I was given the opportunity to transfer to the Threat Analysis team (my current position), and have been in this role for over 4 years!
Any internships/pre-professional experiences at JHU? I interned with the Alumni Office between junior and senior year, but the majority of my other work was off campus. I had a work study job as a tutor/teachers’ aide at the Civitas School of Baltimore freshman and sophomore year (which is how I learned to navigate a city bus system for the first time), and interned with Blackbird Technologies the summer before sophomore year.
What extracurriculars were you involved with at JHU? So many! And I loved each one. Peace by PEACE (secretary, co-president), Agape (member), Camp Kesem (part of the group of founding chapter members, fundraising co-chair), Alumni Student Ambassadors (member, director of events and logistics), Admissions Representatives (member), Engineering Ambassadors (member), StepUP (member, chair member), Bridge5 (member, helped with launch of organization), IEEE (member)…I’m fairly certain I have forgotten a few others, but I definitely kept myself busy!
In what ways did your Hopkins education prepare you for your career? Aside from theoretical knowledge and hands on experience, I was able to hone skills for managing my time and being able to perform under pressure.
Any classes, faculty members, or involvements at JHU that helped to shape your career interest? There are so many amazing faculty members and classes I took that really piqued my interest. The entire Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, professors from the Mechanical Engineering Department, humanities professors, deans, Alumni Office members, alums. It was so interesting seeing the world through their perspective, and seeing all the projects and inventions that they were really passionate about.
Favorite Hopkins memory: Sledding down the hills on box lids during Snowpocalypse 2010! We had just come off of intersession, we’d only had one week of second semester classes, and then we were snowed out and shut down for a whole week. The entire city was shut down! Charles Street was completely empty, and we all streamed out of our dorms and played in the road.
What about being a Hopkins student do you miss the most? I miss being neighbors with all my friends!
How did going to school in Baltimore affect your college experience and opportunities for pre-professional experiences? Going to school in Baltimore gave me my first taste of city life, and I realized how independent I could truly be. I loved being able to easily travel wherever I wanted even without a car. I think it has made me more adaptable and able to face whatever situation comes my way.
Knowing what you know now, what would you want to tell your pre-college self? Don’t take everything so seriously!