Janine Thomas – Finding My Passion in Computer Engineering

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Janine, a Haitian American and soon-to-be Computer Engineer! I am a 4th-year at Wentworth Institute of Technology studying Computer Engineering with two minors in Applied Math and Computer Science. I’m part of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) on campus but I enjoy going to other schools events and activities to see what life is like at other colleges. Math is most definitely my favorite subject and I’m not AMAZING at it but who says you have to be in order to enjoy it? Plants, cats (all animals really), art, video games, and music are very wonderful things to me!

What got you interested in majoring in Computer Engineering?

My uncles worked with computers and cars all the time when I was young and I would always be interested in what they were working on. So I kinda knew from a young age that I wanted to do something more hands-on as a career, and it’s strange because I actually applied to WIT for Computer Science but before my first semester started I realized that I didn’t want to strictly code for the rest of my life. Going back to a more hands-on position, I wanted to do more with hardware as well as software. Computer Engineering did just that for me! I ultimately wanted to be able to work with people at most if not all stages of designing something, building it, coding it up, and troubleshooting it without having to struggle with not knowing the hardware or software side of things.

What advice would you give to students interested in majoring in Computer Engineering?

My advice would be to learn code outside of class! Going into CE it’s not expected of you to know how to code but once you’re in your major specific classes its nice to have at least the basic knowledge of how to code, even if its just one language. The nice thing about that is most languages, even though they look different, act all the same! Its versatile (mostly)! Not saying you have to go and do a whole huge at home project, which you could if you want, but maybe read some tutorials online or watch a video or two. You don’t have to be a pro but just put some tools in your tool belt early on! Coding is so essential in almost everything now.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in at Wentworth?

I am a member of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Student Wellness Educators and Empowerment Team (SWEET), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and I am also a Resident Assistant!

What tips would you give to your younger self?

Its never to late to try something new or something that you’re really interested in. But don’t let other things/people slow you down and keep from trying when you really want to!

What’s your dream job?

I’m not sure if there’s one specific title for it but what I want to do is help develop technologies that will aid third world countries or underdeveloped parts of the world. I’m really interested in agriculture and green energy/sustainability so it’d be really nice to build things that help bring food and water closer to people who don’t have easy access to it if at all while maintaining green life in those areas. Putting accessible tech in their hands and possibly helping them understand it so they can maintain it and gain not only a necessary life resource but valuable skills as well.

What’s your favorite food?

While there are SO many delectable dishes I could eat all day, I have to name my favorite Haitian dish: du riz et sauce pois noir et legumes. Pretty much white rice, black bean sauce, and vegetables!

What are you currently reading?

In the middle of two books actually: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry.

Connect with Janine on LinkedIn!


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