Name: Thar Soe
Graduation Term: Spring 2020
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics
CSI3 Undergraduate Program: STEM Scholar
Hobbies: Cooking, watching movies and sleeping
What is your current status?
I’m currently employed as a software engineer at Lockheed Martin Space based in CO, working remotely as part of the ESH-GIS team. I work in a small team and basically help handle front-end and back-end applications for the program. I’m also pursuing a dual Master’s program for an M.S. in Electrical Engineering: Embedded Systems and an M.Eng. in Engineering Management at University of Colorado, Boulder. Just living life in Denver, which is honestly a great city: good food, great beer scene, scenic views, weather’s actually great for a place without the beaches (of course, LA is always #1 in my heart) and a lot of neat little things to do here and there.
What do you enjoy the most about your current status?
Tackling grad school while working Full-time definitely keeps me busy, especially since Electrical Engineering is different from my undergraduate majors. Honestly, finally having a steady paycheck after years of living paycheck-to-paycheck is a blessing. Lockheed is a good company to work at, and I’ve met a lot of interesting and talented people so far. I’m considering what the next steps in my career are going to be within Lockheed, so it’ll be exciting a few months ahead.
If you could give your junior/senior year self any words of advice what would you say?
Enjoy the beaches more and go explore the rest of California! And also try to master Python (programming language)/build stuff with it, because I currently do some feature work in Python, and I love the language. I wish I had more time to explore it on my own or in a school setting.
What has been one of the biggest lessons you have learned upon graduating?
That I am good enough for this industry. It’s difficult to not feel the imposter syndrome, especially in Computer Science which is like the cool hot feel to get into and everyone seemed to know like 10 programming languages and have 50 internships in the bag. It can be quite overwhelming to have a view of this space as a hypercompetitive arms race, in which everyone seemingly expects so much out of you right out the gate. I think this is true for any field, but if you’re open to learning and open to collaboration, imposter syndrome won’t be a thing. Just remind yourself that you are good enough, if not even more so than you’d think. You got this!
What keeps you motivated and positive throughout life’s hardships?
Honestly, a good cry helps so much sometimes. Or just slowing down when things get too overwhelming. At my lowest points, I remind myself that whatever I was feeling is totally valid, and then I think of my journey up to this point and all the good people, places, things, etc. that happened to have experienced along the way and remind myself of the growth so far; it creates a sense of accomplishment and appreciation.
Is there anyone from the CSI3 program you would like to thank or give a shout out to?
The STEM Scholar program has been one of my major support systems throughout my time at Dominguez Hills, and I am always thankful that I went to that informational meeting that summer of 2017. Of course, I’d like to thank Dr. Hamdan, Noemi, and the rest of the CSI3 for all that they do for students. Thank you! And I miss all my peer from my STEM Scholars graduating class. I hope they’re all doing well!
Updated on 10/12/21