The University of San Francisco’s Department of Computer Science is a diverse community that welcomes students from all over the world and from many different backgrounds, going on to do incredible things in the world. One such recent alumni is Marilyn Cruz (BSCS ‘18) and she is making a impact at Snapchat.
How has life been since finishing CS at USF?
It’s been crazy different. I moved away from all my family and friends in the Bay area to Los Angeles for my job. It’s sort of funny because I moved away from the place where all the tech companies are at and all the aspiring tech people want to move to, but these past 4 months away I’ve grown so much and I know I’m just going to continue to grow so it’s also exciting. Getting out of your comfort zone can be scary, but it’s so worth it. LA has it’s perks but I know I couldn’t be here forever so I do plan to move back one day.
Tell us a bit about your current role. What is the favorite part of your job or program?
Currently I am a Quality Assurance Engineer. My responsibilities include testing new features, testing my team’s area of the app before releases, coding automation in order to make our lives as QA easier, among many many other things. I am in charge of everything friending and also some new user and notification features. I like how I get to work with many different people in many different positions. I have to keep constant communication with not only the devs, but also PMs, designers, and leads. I think my favorite thing about the QA team here at snap is how diverse it is. I know you don’t here that a lot at tech companies, especially among software engineers, but as for our QA team, it is actually really diverse. All the QA managers are people of color and we have a great mix of ethnicities within the team that makes it feel very comfortable and welcoming during meetings, especially for someone like me who is a first generation Mexican girl.
What has been the most surprising part of your career since graduating from USF?
Discovering all the possibilities in tech. In college I simply thought being a software engineer was the only pathway, but I’ve discovered all the different roles and positions there are and how each has its importance. It really has made me think about my career and how it can evolve. My goal used to be to have that software engineer title, but I’ve second guessed that a lot. Sometimes I would doubt myself and believe I could never do it, but I also thought about if being a software engineer is really what I wanted or if I just wanted to be able to say that’s what I do for a living. I’m being raw and honest here because maybe some of you can relate! I like my job right now but it’s also fun because I’m getting to see what other positions there are in tech and what might align more with my strengths and interest. I guess the most surprising thing is discovering I have no idea where my career will be at in 5 years, but I’m okay with that!
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Empathy. Give more people the ability to be understanding because I think that’s all we really need in order to create a bit more peace in the world.
What is one piece of advice you would give a current CS student?
Never limit yourself, get out of your comfort zone, confidence goes a long way even if it’s fake confidence so fake it till you make it. I have a lot of advice so if any one ever wants to chat or connect you can find me almost anywhere @marcrzzz