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With Two Internships, This Computer Science Grad is Well Prepared for the Future

Submitted by on May 10, 2021 – 9:49 pm

Vladimir Ventura of Lawrence has been selected as the student speaker for the STEM Academic Center Graduation Ceremony.

Vladimir Ventura of Lawrence is graduating from Northern Essex Community College on May 15 with an Associate Degree in Computer Information Science and a resume that includes two software engineering internships.

An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, he is well prepared for further education in computer science and a career as a software developer, and he credits Northern Essex, saying “there is so much I appreciate about the college.”

Based on recommendations from his faculty members, Professor Ethel Schuster and Professor Jay Termini, Ventura has been selected to deliver the student speech at the STEM Center Commencement Ceremony.

Ventura had to “start from scratch” after arriving in Lawrence with his family in 2016. He had a high school diploma but had to learn a new language and work part time to support his family while in college.

In September of 2018, Ventura landed a fellowship with Hack.Diversity, a program that helps high-performing individuals, primarily those who identify as Black or Latinx, to launch careers as software engineers, IT professionals, and data analysts within the innovation economy.

Hack.Diversity led him to his first internship, during the summer of 2019, with Solaria Labs, an innovation incubator formed by Liberty Mutual. This experience “changed his life”, introducing him to software, such as React, Express, and Django, and helping him hone his problem solving and social skills.

The fellowship also pushed the admittedly shy Ventura to go beyond his comfort zone. “I was put in situations where I had to socialize and talk about myself,” he says. “It helped me not only in my career but also to develop myself better as a person.”

He must have impressed his supervisors at Liberty Mutual because he was hired by Liberty Mutual again for the summer of 2020 and is expecting to be back working for them this summer.

Ventura is transferring to UMass Lowell to continue his studies this fall, and his hope is that he will be able to continue working at Liberty Mutual part time while continuing his college education.

His interest in the computer industry is fueled by the fact that it is constantly evolving. “There’s always something new to see, or learn. It never stops, stalls, or goes backwards,” he says, a description which could apply to him.

This year, due to the pandemic, Northern Essex Community College is holding five smaller graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 15 on the Haverhill Campus, organized by academic center. Each ceremony will include a student speaker and traditional awards will be presented throughout the day. Students will have the opportunity to cross the commencement stage and receive their well-earned associate degree or certificate.