Allison Collier ('19)
Software Engineer, Liberty Mutual
Class of ’19
I recently joined Liberty Mutual as a software engineer after serving as a junior software engineer at Peraton. I graduated just as COVID-19 was becoming a concern. A month after starting my first full-time job, I, as well as many people across the world, began to work from home.
The inequalities that have plagued the United States since its inception were dragged into the spotlight over the past year. It was impossible not to recognize my privilege being able to work from home and the reality that most people were going through massive hardship. When I was recently asked if I was interested in volunteering with the Last Mile Education Fund, I felt it was a great opportunity to help in a tangible way. The Last Mile is an organization focused on helping junior and senior female and non-binary students in computing through financial hardships regardless of GPA or other academic qualifiers. I’m excited to get a chance to volunteer with them, as it’s clear that they are filling a much-needed gap in student aid.
I spend my time off the clock teaching myself the electric guitar, writing, learning new software, and learning how to be a better ally to marginalized communities.
How did the department equip you for the ‘real world’...
By the time I graduated, I had A LOT of professional development experience. The departmental career fairs and career fair prep sessions gave me a leg up when it came to preparing for interviews and getting internships and co-ops.
Being a Virginia Tech alumna means...
Considering others’ circumstances and cultures. I’m very thankful for the opportunity I had to meet people from all over the world and take classes that taught me about different cultures at Virginia Tech. I learned so much in and out of the classroom about considering others’ perspectives.
My fondest memory of my time in the department is…
Definitely the time I spent talking to the receptionists and advisors in the Department of Computer Science. They were very helpful when discussing semester class schedules and generally just nice to talk to. I would go at least twice a semester to plan my classes, and if I had down time between classes, sometimes I would just go in and say hello and chat for a bit.
My favorite memory with CEED is…
My favorite memory is going from being in Ctech2 to becoming a residential/program assistant. Ctech2 is what made me want to go to Virginia Tech, so getting the chance to help other girls make those memories and spark their passion for engineering, made me so happy.
Being a NCWIT Aspirations scholar meant to me…
Community for sure. It’s grown exponentially since I’ve joined and it continues to follow that trend every year. I appreciate the discussions that take place in the group, the helpfulness of everyone in the community, and the dissemination of opportunities and the diversity of the group members. I definitely miss the in-person meet-ups we had and I hope we’ll be able to have them again soon!