Engineering a future: Meet 2023 PNW graduate Quin’Sean Owens

November 29, 2023

A friend’s invitation to join the high school robotics club set Quin’Sean Owens on a path to earn a bachelor of science degree in Computer Science from the College of Engineering and Sciences at Purdue University Northwest (PNW).

Joining the robotics club sparked Owens’ interest in computer programming. “Being able to work with my hands and see my hard work come to life right there in front of me – that was it for me,” he says. His initial goal was to become a video game designer. After additional research on the responsibilities, work-life balance and salary of a video game designer, he decided it wasn’t for him. Owens found that the field of computer science offered a broader selection of career opportunities that were still within his area of interest.

As a member of PNW’s Honors College, Owens spent time participating in and volunteering for events and activities, including as a teaching assistant for an Honors speech class. He credits Honors College with not only providing support but also access to a variety of resources that helped him throughout his time at PNW. “The Honors College was like a second family to me,” says Owens. “Everybody was really close.”

In addition to the Honors College, Owens was a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, the PNW Student Programming Board and the Computer Science Club. He was able to attend several industry conferences as a member of the PNW chapter of the STARS Computing Corps for Underrepresented Students, which aims to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in computing disciplines.

The Valparaiso native completed an internship with JP Morgan Chase in Chicago and is set to start work there in February as a software engineer.

What did you like most about PNW?

“First of all, I like the diversity. I got to meet a lot of people from different backgrounds – which was amazing. The smaller class sizes help to build relationships with the professors.”

What did you like most about the Computer Science program at PNW?

“The professors. They’re very personable, approachable and they have a great way of explaining things. In the computer science program, they prepared us throughout college and set us up with the tools that we need to succeed. It helped me secure a good job and I thank my professors for that.”

How do you think your involvement in campus organizations and activities helped define your success at PNW?

“Looking back, I feel all these experiences helped shape who I am, helped me be my authentic self. I also learned that listening is a skill. Take a step back and think before responding. Also, teamwork, time management and being disciplined were skills that I was able to develop here at PNW.”

Did you have a pivotal experience while attending PNW?

“There were two moments. The first was an algorithms class I took which gave me the keys for success when interviewing for internships or jobs. The interview process for computer science positions is very technical and being able to use data structures to create algorithms is essential in that process. That opened the door for my second pivotal experience which was my internship with JP Morgan Chase. It gave me my first taste of the corporate world and helped shape my direction and path in life.”

What words of advice would you share with prospective students looking to attend PNW?

“Stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Do your homework. Seek help when you need it, don’t let yourself drown. Build peer relationships, make connections in your field and stay active.”

Was there anyone at PNW who inspired or encouraged you along the way?

Shontrai IrvingShontrai Irving

clinical associate professor of Business Law

“He stands out in my memory for his unwavering dedication to fostering curiosity. Through engaging lectures and personal encouragement, he ignited my passion for the subject, transforming what could have been a mundane course into a captivating intellectual journey. His enthusiasm and support inspired me to explore the topic further, leaving a lasting impact on my academic pursuits.”

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