Meet our alumni

Christopher-Marc Cumberbatch - Class of 2021

Chris Cumberbatch

What made you choose the MSSE program?

One of my work colleagues, who is an alumni of the program, strongly recommended it after learning that I was interested in studying software engineering. My decision was based on the reputation of the University of Minnesota and that I could continue working while I earned my degree.

What things stand out for you as valuable learning?

One of the valuable skills I've gained is the ability to research and evaluate emerging software technologies. The program emphasized the importance of understanding how and when to leverage new software tools. I am now able to quickly assess emerging software trends without getting too wrapped up in the implementation details. This is something that has proven to be useful in my everyday work.

How has the program helped you in your career?

All of my learnings from the MSSE program have set me up to smoothly transition into a Solution Architect role. The exposure I got to each of the phases of the software development lifecycle has allowed me to better understand and manage customer expectations and to make more informed decisions when designing solutions.

What is your job title?

I'm an IoT Consultant at PTC.

What are your thoughts about the cohort model of learning?

I have really enjoyed learning with the same group of people throughout the program. The way the program is run makes it easy to learn from other cohort members and fostered a sense of comradery in each class. I learned a lot from my classmates and made some invaluable connections during my time in the program.

Laura Gabrielson - Class of 2020

Laura Gabrielson

Why did you choose the MSSE program?

I chose this program so I could continue to work my full time position while still going to school full time for my master's degree. Being able to complete a program in two years was absolutely important to me. 

How has attending the MSSE program changed you? Do you think differently about anything now, compared to before you started the program?

The MSSE program has changed the way I approach problems at work. I take more time to think through my problems and the overall picture of what I am programming, compared to just the issue in front of me. It has made me a more well-rounded person overall. 

Has the program helped you in your career?

Yes, I would say the program has made me feel more confident in my job position.

What is your job title and where do you work?

I'm a Business Intelligence Engineer at Be the Match.

What are your thoughts about the cohort model of learning?

I loved being with the same group of people for two years. It's very similar to the professional world compared to my undergraduate college experience. You learn how to interact with people in your field and you gain extra skills in the process. 

Bradley Jewel - Class of 2020

Alumnus

How have you benefited from being a student in the MSSE program?

I've been able to successfully use something from every class in the program in my work. I've used things that came directly from the planned material, but I've used much more from the ancillary requirements of the program.

What things stand out as valuable learning?

The value of creating a "polished" document. Working on my soft skills. The art of being patient and listening to others even when I think they are wrong. Understanding that people learn differently. This was modeled many times in class by one of my professors.

Has the program helped you in your career?

The skills I learned in the program were put to an abrupt test when I was unexpectedly promoted. If I had been given the promotion before attending the MSSE program, I'm not sure how successful I would have been. Everyday I draw on things my professors have taught me. I've been able to avoid numerous missteps thanks to the MSSE program.

What is your job title and where do you work?

I'm a Software Architect at C.H. Robinson.

What are your thoughts about the cohort model of learning?

The program gave me the opportunity to work on my soft skills, to listen when I want to talk and to be a better teammate. 

Ryan Ricard - Class of 2013

Ryan Ricard


What made you choose the MSSE program?

A colleague who completed the program a couple years ahead of me sold me on the program. Her conviction for the coursework, the quality of instruction, and the cohort model, made pursuing the MSSE program a no brainer for me.

How have you benefited from being a student in the MSSE program?

I wouldn't be where I am today without MSSE. The program fostered the growth I required to progress my career. It's absolutely true that you get out of graduate school what you put into it, and I gave it my all. The MSSE program accelerated my growth as a software engineer; it helped me build the confidence I needed to overcome the imposter syndrome that hindered me early in my career and it connected me with a plethora of brilliant engineers in academia and in industry.

What things stand out as valuable learning?

MSSE was an opportunity to step back from my narrow view of the software world to study the entire end-to-end practice of software engineering. Prior to MSSE, I had over seven years of heads down coding experience but did not yet understand the complete effort involved to orchestrate the creation of world class software systems, from inception to completion. Thanks to MSSE, I am now confident that I can lead nearly any software engineering challenge to a successful outcome.

What are your thoughts on the cohort model of learning?

The MSSE cohort model is awesome! Combining the program's accomplished instructors with the professional insights of my classmates greatly enhanced the overall learning experience. To this day, much of my cohort is still connected. I've also enjoyed building comradery with other MSSE cohorts, which has introduced me to some really great people across the industry. 

What is your job title?

Director of Technology, Data Science Platform Engineering, Target Corporation

How has the program impacted your career?

There isn't a work day that I don't employ some aspect of my learnings from MSSE. The program instills a rigorous engineering mindset that is absolutely necessary to lead in today's technology industry. It has been my experience that this mindset is what separates the engineers in our industry from the developers. If you have the ambition to grow your career, MSSE is a pivotal step toward getting to where you want to be.