We asked the peer mentors to answer some questions about their time here at UConn and give some simple tips and tricks to navigating the campus. Meet Noah! A Senior majoring in Computer Science and Engineering with a concertation in software design.
What semester is this for you?
2nd semester, senior year
When are you graduating?
What’s your major?
Computer science and engineering
Do you minor in anything or have a specific concentration within your major?
A concentration in software design
Where are you from?
Are you in a learning community? (which one) How has it helped you?
I’m not sure if it counts as a learning community, but I’m in the honors program. While I
have to admit that much of the requirements for honors come across as busywork, the
program has encouraged me to also attend more events on campus and look deeper
into the topics of my classes.
What on-campus activities/organizations are you involved in?
Before low membership and COVID forced it to shut down, I was the vice president of
Escape Storrs. We were a club that made small escape room puzzles and then let
students play through them.
I’m also a member of the UConn UPE chapter. We meet to work on coding problems,
talk about job applications, and such.
I’ve worked at the UConn Engineering Tutoring Center for several semesters as well. I
tutor students on various CSE topics and help them with their assignments. I can’t say
it’s easy, but I still enjoy it.
Where is your favorite spot on campus to study or hangout?
My own room, for sure. It’s quiet and all of my materials, books, and the like are there.
But I suppose that I technically haven’t answered the question since that’s not on
Speaking solely of campus locations, I’d pick any empty classroom. There’s plenty of
space and, should what I’m doing need it, a projector. The catch is that it’s not really
feasible to use one until very late in the day when most classes are done.
What is the easiest part of your academic career at uconn?
The CSE course requirements are extensive enough to fill most of one’s entire
undergraduate schedule. Within the realm of major-fulfilling credits, there isn’t too
much ambiguity in what I could choose to take. Some might not like the lack of
flexibility, but it’s made planning each semester very easy.
What is the hardest part of your academic career at uconn?
I think it should be a given that taking classes is the hardest part. Who would’ve thought
that computer science would be a difficult field to work in?
Any plans after graduation?
I’m heading to Boston. I’ve got a job offer there for software and systems design.
What is your advice to incoming freshmen (in your major or in general)?
For students majoring in CSE: Find people in your major and groups that relate to it.
Work with each other and practice what you learn. You’ll gain so much more from
applying the things you’re taught than just taking the classes. Not to mention, there’s a
lot of practical experience that classes just can’t give you. Oh, and make sure you learn
how to use Git.
For everyone: make good use of the next four years. You’ll be surrounded by resources
and opportunities that you likely won’t have for the rest of your life. I don’t just mean in
terms of academics, but in recreation as well. People don’t just get free passes to
massive gyms, after all. Use this school for everything it has.
Do you have any tips for navigating the campus?
It’s a good idea to walk through your schedule before classes actually start so that you
can plan out where you’ll be during the day and what routes to take between locations.
Also, you should use the myUConn app. I can’t speak to its other utilities, but it has a
very useful campus map that you can use to identify different buildings.
How did you handle online schooling vs in person schooling? Which do you like better?
Well, each certainly has its merits. In-person classes allow for a higher degree of
interactivity and provide you with the ability to meet people and work collaboratively.
They’re also the only real option for anyone who’s taking a lab course like chemistry or
However, there’s a lot of convenience in online classes. I don’t need to walk a mile to
campus to attend them, and one has the ability to schedule office hours and meetings
with more flexibility since travel time and preparation are eliminated. Perhaps I’m in a
unique position since my major involves constant computer work already, but I found
the actual work to be similar between the two class types. I handle online classes almost
exactly the same as in-person ones.
How was adjusting to life at uconn like for you as a freshman? Would you do anything
The biggest problem for me was that, despite having my major declared when I
enrolled, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. So my most notable adjustment was
attending my classes and club meetings and finding my interests. It was because of that
that I switched my major to CSE.
What resources are most helpful for the first years coming into the school of engineering?
The tutoring center, the q center, professors’ office hours. All of these are very helpful
for anyone struggling with certain topics.
Engineering is also a very extensive field. It’s worth talking to several professors about
their work and learning what each discipline entails.