Computer science student gets head start on career dream as a teaching assistant
Douglas Rumbaugh didn’t have to think too hard about where he wanted to start his college career. Growing up in Millerstown, Perry County, Rumbaugh knew he wanted to find a school that was close to home and offered small class sizes for intimate learning.
He found what he was looking for at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.
Rumbaugh started out as a Nanotechnology major but changed majors his sophomore year. He’ll be entering his senior year this fall, where he’s hard at work on his Computer Science major with a concentration in Software Engineering.
But Rumbaugh’s career goals go beyond his field of study.
“Coming out of high school, I wanted to be a mechanical engineer,” he said. “I had a fear of math that kept me from pursuing it. I didn’t think I was cut out for it.”
Working hard to do well in computer science, Rumbaugh worked his way through opportunities at Highmark, where he has helped with database projects. He also works for CAI documenting code and has a fair amount of experience a business analyst and mainframe developer.
Thanks to the encouragement of his professors and others at Harrisburg University, Rumbaugh has excelled in his major and feels he can conquer whatever is next – maybe even furthering his education in engineering.
While he hopes to work in the field for some time, Rumbaugh wants to eventually become a professor. He’s been given a taste of higher education through being a teaching assistant at Harrisburg University. He helps with grading, covers lectures and even had the chance to begin his spring semester covering Programming Fundamentals I for several weeks.
Working as a teaching assistant gives Rumbaugh the chance to see education from a new perspective, he said. Instead of being the student in the seat, he’s the educator behind the podium, helping to guide students on projects and make sure they develop the skills needed to succeed in the future.
“Teaching has opened up so many possibilities for me,” Rumbaugh said. “I didn’t know it would be something I enjoyed so much until I had the opportunity to try it. I’m so grateful for that opportunity. It really opened my eyes to the variety in which I can use my degree.”
His experience has been so positive at Harrisburg University that even Rumbaugh’s younger sister plans to attend as a freshman this year. Rumbaugh’s knowledge of the software engineering field encouraged her to enter the same field of study.
The experience Harrisburg University has provided Rumbaugh is one he doesn’t believe he’d have received elsewhere.
“The time that each professor takes to get to know you and the one-on-one interactions with so many important people, it really makes me grateful for choosing this school,” Rumbaugh said. “It’s given me many opportunities, doing significant and meaningful work in both academia and industry, which I never expected to have so early.”