Graduating senior Kathryn Knauth said she did not know what to expect during her first few interviews when applying for a position with Amazon’s A2Z Research and Development group.
The mathematics and computer science major said that it took time to get over her nervousness, but received great advice from the professors and mentors who assisted her at Temple.
“I certainly didn’t expect to get such a great job right out of college,” Knauth said. “At one point, I was considering graduate school. I’d still like to go back at some point, but for now I’m really excited to explore what’s going on in the West Coast technology sector.”
Knauth grew up in Reading, Pa., but has been living in Philadelphia for eight years. Originally a computer science major, Knauth decided to change last year.
“I chose computer science because I enjoyed programming a lot, and it seemed like there were many different career paths in the field,” Knauth said. “I switched to math and computer science because I’m a depraved individual who cannot get enough math in my life.”
Knauth was able to land her newly acquired job after attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference last fall in Portland, Ore. The annual conference seeks to further the career aspirations of women in computer sciences, and a number of well-known companies and universities attended.
And it paid off. Knauth is now graduating this May for a position as a software development engineer for Amazon.
“It’s been a great experience so far, and I’m hoping I’ve learned some skills that will carry over into my new job,” she said.
Knauth and her team worked on an Android application, SEPTrip, for her senior capstone project this past semester. Knauth’s team leader, Jonathan Morton, started working on it prior to this semester, and her team continued the project.
The application, described by Knauth as a trip planning app for SEPTA, enables users to look up schedule times, routes, view real time bus locations on a map and plan trips within the city using SEPTA routes.
“SEPTrip won second place in this year’s Future of Computing competition for undergraduate projects,” Knauth said. “We’re hoping to make it available for download by June.”
As many seniors prepare to graduate, Knauth offers advice for those who are preparing to enter the workforce.
“Don’t be afraid to expand your search radius,” she said. “If you’re open to relocation, you may find that your skill set is in greater demand in another part of the country or world. Also, perfect your résumé and interviewing skills. Interviewers have a limited amount of time to form an opinion of you, so first impressions really count.”
Knauth will be starting at Amazon on May 21, and will be moving to Orange County, Calif., for the job.
“I’m going to miss my classmates,” she said. “I’ve met so many amazing people at Temple. These have been the most memorable years of my life so far.”
Dominique Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.