Software Engineer at Ivanti
Amanda Rico graduated from Carthage in 2018 with a degree in computer science. She works as a software engineer at Ivanti in Minnesota, where she writes and reviews code, and discusses implementations of features with other engineers.
Ms. Rico received Carthage’s Highest Honors Merit Scholarship, a yearly scholarship given to Carthage students with 3.50-4.0 GPAs.
While at Carthage, she conducted robotics research as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Research Experience for Undergraduates in Software Engineering program (REU-SE). The REU-SE program is an opportunity for undergraduates to work with some of the leading software engineering faculty researchers at Carnegie Mellon, the #1-ranked computer science school in the country.
“Start early, work steady, ask for help. The professors really want to see you succeed, especially if you end up writing airplane software.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“Ivanti is a cybersecurity company working in the domain of patching machines. Since I’m a back-end engineer, my code drives the actual patching. Doing back-end work is something that I really enjoy. It’s really cool to be working on the guts of an application and seeing how everything fits together on the inside.
“Since this is cybersecurity, the work I’m doing makes me feel like I have an important job to do. It’s also crucial that I do the very best I can because if I mess up, someone else using the application suffers. I really like feeling useful and the job is like a different puzzle every day.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“The support I received from my professors was really helpful. Funny enough, I ask for more help in my career than I did in school, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking for help if my professors hadn’t been so adamant that their doors were always open to ask a question.
“Professor Erlan Wheeler wrote me a killer recommendation letter, which helped me get into the summer research program, REU-SE, at Carnegie-Mellon University, one of the top computer science schools in the country. That REU is definitely a bright spot on my resume.
“All of my professors were very encouraging and want to see their students succeed. Of course, you have to work for that success, but having to work really hard for success prepared me for the real world.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“I learned to attack problems from multiple angles, which is great because if I can’t actually implement an idea I had for fixing a bug, my brain will immediately come up with another angle from which to attack the problem.
“More often than not, I put fixes in the correct spots before code review because I can think fully of how it would affect the overall system if I put them anywhere else.”