Utica native Justine Imundo M.S., ‘17, ’18, admits a career in software development might have been overlooked if her interest in the STEM field had not been piqued by an opportunity in high school through the BOCES Regional Program for Excellence.
Justine, who currently works as a Software Developer for Capraro Technologies Inc., Utica, first got a glimpse of the field in 2013 after being chosen for the program which offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore career options through a 72-75-hour summer internship.
“I chose Capraro Technologies through word-of-mouth and my vague interest in software development,” she said. “The internship really opened my eyes to the endless possibilities in the field.”
The company, founded in 1993, specializes in open-source cloud computing technologies, custom software development, information technology, and video surveillance systems and is located less than three miles from SUNY Poly’s Marcy campus.
“One thing that was really big for me in choosing a college was the fact SUNY Poly is a local college that I could stay at home for and, obviously, the other big one was it had computer science,” she said. “I knew a few people in the past who went there for computer science as well as other degree programs, and they mentioned to me that they really enjoyed going there.”
During her time spent earning her master’s degree at SUNY Poly, Justine said Dr. Michael Reale and Dr. Chen-Fu Chiang, both Assistant Professors of Computer Science, went above and beyond to prioritize students’ needs.
“They both made learning very fun, answered questions thoroughly, applied their curriculum to the real world, promptly responded to emails, and were always available outside of class for questions,” Justine said.
In 2015, while an undergraduate student at SUNY Poly, Justine received a call from Capraro Technologies with an offer for a second internship which she gladly accepted. After having taken a few college courses since her last internship, she felt better prepared to take on new challenges for potential projects.
While Justine was interning at Capraro Technologies, she received her bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Science in May 2017. She continued her internship while also pursuing a master’s degree of the same title. Following graduation in 2018 with her master’s degree, Justine accepted a full-time position with Capraro Technologies.
“My work at Capraro Technologies during college showed me that I can apply the skills that I learn in the classroom to help others and the community as a whole,” she said. “Now, I am extremely grateful that I can use my knowledge on a daily basis while doing what I truly love.”
Justine thrives on the opportunity to work on several different projects every day and enjoys the critical thinking aspect of her job.
“With the fundamentals that I learned at SUNY Poly, I feel confident tackling new technologies and vast project requirements,” Justine said. “I believe that if you really apply yourself in SUNY Poly’s Computer and Information Science program, you can use those basics to explore and successfully work in any branch.”