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portrait of Williams

Brandon Williams

Software Configuration Engineer at General Dynamics

Criminal Justice

Graduated in 2011

Explain your career path

After graduating from SEMO, I took a leap of faith and moved to Washington DC in order to become a federal police officer (during the great recession). After a brief time as an officer with the Department of Army, police riots became more prevalent I moved into a loan officer role and eventually learned computer code in my spare time. After teaching myself necessary code and database management I was hired as a Software Configuration Engineer for the Submarine Maneuvering and Control Division at the David Taylor Model Basin in Potomac, Md, home to the worlds largest wave maker.

What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?

My major was in Criminal Justice, and I chose that degree due to the great recession. I knew finding a job post graduation was going to be very difficult, but there would always be a need for police officers. That essentially guaranteed me a job with a pay check to pay back student loans.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

I chose Southeast because it felt like home to me.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

My biggest influence was my adviser not because he was so helpful, but truthfully because he didn't believe in me. He didn't think i was good enough, or a hard enough worker, or someone who was able to be successful in life. His consistent pessimist attitude drove me to succeed.

Share your best college memory.

My best college memory was the first day. Meeting and greeting all the new faces and getting to know so many new people and who they were as individuals.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

Parking illegally doesn't come with rewards, but excessive parking tickets.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Just being happy and able to live comfortably and fortunate to travel the world.

How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?

My education allowed me to be gainfully employed, and build a foundation for a successful future.

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

It doesn't matter what professional field you choose, as long as you choose something. If you can dream it, you can become it. Your education/major doesn't define you or how successful or how much money you will make. How you build yourself after graduation is what determines your success.

What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?

Not myself, but for everyone who i see struggling. FINANCES and INTEREST. Loans are no joke and when it comes to student loan payments, many graduates cannot make those payments and live a comfortable lifestyle. It is important to understand interest rates, and how to save money for the future.


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