Graduating to Success: Alexis Yang (MET’18) Puts His Master’s to Work

MS in Computer Information Systems (MET’18)
Software Developer Engineer at Amazon for the project Amazon GO.

What is your background?

I studied computer information systems at MET, and officially received my Master of Science on the 25th of September, 2018. Before that, I studied five years at the École Pour l’Informatique et les Techniques Avancées (EPITA), a computer science college in France. I was previously working at Voatz as an IOS developer, and, as of this past December, I have been working as a software developer engineer at Amazon, for the project Amazon GO.

What compelled you to return to school and pursue a graduate education? What is your long-term objective?

Even though I had no specific goal about my career after graduating from high school, I had always been curious about computer science through my interest in video games and new technologies. Knowing that software developers are in high demand, I considered that it was a safe choice to try out if I wanted to make it my future career, which lead me to studying at EPITA. By getting to know the subject of my interest, I started to have my own goals, such as creating my own start-up and building innovative projects.

Why did you choose BU MET for your graduate studies? What set MET apart from other programs you were considering?

EPITA allowed their students to pursue a degree pathway (double degree program) by studying abroad. I wanted to have an experience in the United States, and Boston University was the only choice available with a computer science program.

Is there a particular faculty member from your courses who has enhanced your experience at MET? Who and why?

I really enjoyed Dr. Yuting Zhang‘s course on Mobile Forensics and Security (MET CS 694). As we didn’t have any course about this subject in France, I learned so much by attending her course. Dr. Zhang’s teaching methodology was a great asset in helping me get familiar with this type of technical course.

In the IT Strategy and Management course (MET CS 782), Professor Adam Arakelian’s lecture was always captivating. I appreciated how he was always up to date with current news and technologies. The subjects and examples given during the course helped me link the business aspect of an activity to the IT aspect. As such, I gained some valuable, visionary skills during this course.

Of course, Dr. Vijay Kanabar helped me a lot by introducing me to Riipen, a platform that allows students to gain work experience with companies. Through that platform, I worked with the Center of Psychological Services doing a SharePoint system to automate the employee on-boarding process and file management. That work experience allowed me to connect with companies, which contributed to getting some visibility.

I am also thankful to Dr. Kanabar for helping me improve my résumé. With English as a second language, I definitely have room for improvement—especially when it came to writing my résumé in English. Last but not least, he was always there in time of need and ready to provide a reference to companies that requested one.

 Congratulations on your recent job offer with Amazon! How were you able to use the skills and competencies learned at MET to qualify you for this position? How do you apply concepts from the classroom in your daily work?

Even though I have been studying at MET for only two semesters, overall the courses helped me build a strong foundation on the knowledge I acquired in France. But some courses also contributed greatly to my success. As I stated above, Mobile Forensics and Security gave me insights about what is happening in a mobile device at very profound level. By talking to an Amazon developer, I noticed that this kind of knowledge is both rare and valuable. Discussing this subject with him managed to display my passion, my curiosity, and, especially, my ability to learn complicated subjects.

The course IT Strategy and Management helped me acquire visionary skills and link business activity, IT, and customers. This knowledge could help me align well with one of Amazon’s leadership principles.