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quote ​I have always admired the speed at which technology would advance, and, as a kid, I wanted to learn how to use that technology when I grow up.

Growing up, Valeria was interested in the different types of technology and all the ways she can make technology work. A specific example would be the latest web technologies, which she can easily explore from the comfort of her home.

College life for Valeria involves working within development teams in which she is grouped up with other students from a variety of concentrations within her program. There they split up tasks according to each person’s strength and concentration. However, learning doesn’t stop at school. Being an Information Technology student requires you to explore a wide range of technology outside of class and apply those skills back in the classroom setting.

STEM students, like Valeria, are always eager to acquire hands-on experience, so real-world opportunities like summer internships are often good options. “I chose to start an internship at Pragmatics because the full-time developers there are very involved with mentoring the interns. Currently, I’m working on an Intranet project to develop a quality intranet site,” said Valeria. She later described Pragmatics as a workplace where she could gain valuable experience with frontend development at a comfortable rate.


Valeria working on school project with teammates at GMU

Pragmatics incorporates unique perspectives from the interns that they bring in. The curriculum in Valeria’s school program also serves to support her in the work environment by giving her a better footing and understanding of what is happening around her. More specifically, it has provided her with an in-depth knowledge of how to use the tools in today’s widely-used technology within the industry.

quoteFor example, in my web development class, I was introduced on how to use AWS EC2 to host a full stack web application. Later on, when I joined Pragmatics, I was able to apply some of this knowledge to AWS EC2 when working on the intranet project.

Conversely, her on-the-job-training with Pragmatics has enabled her to stand out academically. The training at the company mainly revolved around frontend development and some AWS services, where she learned a lot about the wide variety of services that AWS can provide and, more importantly, how to apply them to solving major world problems. In addition to learning about AWS, she had gotten hands-on experience with a high in demand frontend technology like ReactJS. Later, she further developed her skills as a frontend developer by learning how to test her ReactJS applications by conducting comprehensive unit tests with Enzyme and Jest.

quoteAt school, I’m better able to execute my goals on projects and apply more effective development strategies within my school project teams. With my knowledge obtained at Pragmatics in AWS services and newer frontend technologies like ReactJS, I can bring in a fresh perspective and technical skillset to my school project teams.

In addition to taking advantage of the learning opportunities for improving her technical skills, there are other skills that Valeria highly values that are also acquired from the workspace.

quoteHow to socially interact and how to communicate effectively with others is a valuable asset to develop in your career, so being in an environment that actively encourages and fosters growth in it is vital, which I value.

She loves being involved within the many interactions among employees at Pragmatics, especially those within her immediate team. Not only does this help with growing her connections and bonds, but it also helps contribute to her interpersonal skills. By bonding as a team and striving to improve their relations with each other, Valeria and her team can improve their workflow on development projects. “There is a lot of information sharing between everybody here,” said Valeria.

Due to her outstanding performance during the internship, Valeria has successfully secured a full-time offer with Pragmatics. While most senior students who are in the same position as Valeria halt their learning of new technology in their final year, Valeria strives to keep learning to stay competitive.

“I plan to learn a whole breadth of technology like Angular and D3.js, which will help me become more reliable on future development projects. I also want to better excel in the technologies that I’m currently working with, like ReactJS, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. After I’ve become more accomplished on the frontend, I would like to expand my experience to incorporate the backend and see how all the components interact and function together as a full-stack web application,” said Valeria.