In the School of Information Technology and Computing, our mission is to educate students in technology-related fields for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Carlos Velasquez (‘18) exemplifies this mission every day. After graduating with a degree in Digital Entertainment Technology in 2018, Carlos began his career teaching autistic adults how to code in C# at nonPareil. His desire to serve God in the workplace continued to grow as he pursued a position at a Christian radio station where he could merge his work and faith. Carlos currently works as a C# Developer in the Education Media Foundation, a non-profit organization that operates radio networks broadcasting contemporary Christian music. When asked about the impact faith has in his work, Carlos said that he loved to work in a place where he could combine his professional skills with his beliefs.
Shortly after graduation, Carlos entered the working world and was surprised by the budget and expense management that recent graduates often struggle with. Overwhelmed by the responsibilities that came along with this new chapter of his life, he asked himself, “Am I working to live or am I living to work?” As that’s a question that many professionals run into at one point in their career, we asked Carlos how he responded to this situation. “I want to live to work. I love what I do so much that I look forward to work.” Our hope at the School of Information Technology and Computing is that every student finds a calling in their workplace that gives them an experience like the one Carlos is currently having, where he is passionately serving the Lord through his career.
At ACU, community is one of the essential parts of every student’s college experience. Our community focuses on connecting students, faculty, staff, and alumni through valuable experiences. Carlos still cherishes his memories from college with his friends. “My favorite ACU memory involves an unofficial game of ‘Murder in the Dark’ in the COBA building. Every Saturday a group of friends would turn off all lights in COBA and play the game.” Carlos built valuable relationships with his classmates, but he also had the opportunity to have professors that consistently challenged him and encouraged him to pursue his dreams. When asked about his favorite professors on campus, he shared, “I don’t have a favorite but I do respect both Dr. Brian Burton & Rich Tanner immensely. Dr. Burton’s classes would frequently instill a hunger for learning and progressing which I was very appreciative of. Rich Tanner’s classes involved learning and utilizing technologies that I was very interested in. It was always fun learning with Rich because his persona was easy going.”
Carlos advises current students to listen to advice that their professors give. When he was completing his undergraduate degree, he clearly remembers how Dr. Burton and Rich Tanner always told him, “It’s not what you do in school that will get you your desired job, it’s the effort and dedication you put in after hours.” It was not until he graduated from ACU and resigned from his first position outside of college that he had the opportunity to help his former boss look at resumes for his replacement, noticing how employers are especially impressed by the skills and work experience of the applicant. “If you put a skill on your resume, there should be some form of proof that you actually have the skills mentioned.” He encourages incoming freshmen to remember that, “Freshman year is very important in regards to the rest of your college life. Personally, I like to start strong and work to maintain quality. Starting from zero and building up is very risky and can be stressful, so start strong and college life will be so much easier.”
Finally, Carlos told us that he loved his time at ACU and hopes that his children have the same opportunity in the future. He will always thank his Alma Mater for providing great learning resources and allowing him to explore different areas of study. “When I first arrived, I didn’t know I loved programming, but the option to take a programming class got me to where I am today.” Today, Carlos is a full-time programmer in Rocklin, California and is happy to know that he is right where he’s supposed to be.