Student Profile: Grant Hoover
There isn’t a challenge that Grant Hoover isn’t willing to tackle. The 18-year-old sophomore at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology has tried to do his best in any project set before him.
That attitude and work ethic led Hoover to graduate two years early from Camp Hill High School, and it has him on track to receive his bachelor’s degree in Interactive Media from Harrisburg University in just three years.
Not only has Hoover’s drive pushed him ahead of the curve, but his determination to succeed has been followed by compliments and praise from professors and professionals.
For the past year, Hoover has been working at Highmark Health Solutions Inc., where the Camp Hill native has been upgrading mainframes for the Dental Sales & Provider Solutions division.
“Grant regularly out performs many of our contractors who have 20+ years experience,” wrote one of his supervisors, Dave Wagner. “I think my Senior level Technical leads put it best: I can give Grant anything to do no matter the complexity and he gets it done and it’s done correctly.'”
But you won’t hear anything but humility from Hoover. After a family dinner, the topic of staying humble came up, he said.
“One of the things I try to live by is not to tell anyone what you’re doing unless you’re asked about it,” Hoover said. “It’s reassuring to hear that the work I’m doing is good, but I’m not doing it for the praise. I’m doing it because that’s what I should be doing my best.”
Hoover believes he has succeeded thanks to the programs and opportunities he’s taken part in as a student at Harrisburg University.
He was first introduced to the school after attending the Summer Game Academy as a high school student, where he had the chance to meet faculty and grow close to other prospective students. He first entered Harrisburg University majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in New Media. He switched to Interactive Media when he found he could learn more about gaming design and application.
While his work at Highmark has given him computer science and programming experience, he’s also done work with Schell Games out of Pittsburgh, where he spends about 15 hours a week working online to design a game for an app.
Each experience has given Hoover an idea of the jobs he could have in his field of study, Hoover said. He believes it’s given him the insight needed to determine what he’s good at and what he enjoys doing.
“Most classes focus on learning a certain skill and how it’s applied,” Hoover said. “Internships and projects give you the chance to work directly with companies to gain skills for working with people and seeing how decisions are made at a higher level. I’m not just learning theoretically how skills are applied, but I’m applying them to a specific job.”
Before he graduates, Hoover hopes to do more personal projects related to game design. He hopes to use some of the virtual reality equipment that Harrisburg University has provided to create a virtual reality space.
“Harrisburg University has been highly influential in setting up these programs and getting me these experiences,” Hoover said. “I have a better understanding of what jobs I want to do when I leave here.”