Navigate Your Way to a Successful Career in STEM

People » Piero Castillo

My name is Piero Castillo and I am currently studying Computer Science. Before UCF, I had no coding experience, let alone what Computer Science is. My high school (Cypress Creek) did not offer any engineering/programming courses, and so my first exposure was at UCF. I loved it! Then I took two courses known as Computer Science 1 & 2. Both of these were taught by Professor Szumlanski, my favorite professor of all time. I loved both of these courses because of the enthusiasm created by Szumlanski. He reinforced my passion for my degree. Now, I am Senior getting ready to graduate.

I was a COMPASS mentor when I was a Sophomore, and I truly loved it. The experiences helped me grow as an individual, and it even helped me get a director position of a mentoring program (MentorSHPE) in my organization (SHPE). After my term as director, I enrolled as a mentor within the program (since director’s can’t be mentors). Thus, I’ve continuously mentored students as I love being the hand that lifts you up. I personally haven’t had an assigned mentor, but mentors can be anyone close to you giving you advice. If I were to give you an advice within this sea of words, it would be to make mistakes. In Computer Science, you don’t truly learn unless you make mistakes and then learn from them (debugging can be super tedious). In life, you don’t truly grow and develop until you make mistakes that push you to move forward and learn. The biggest mistake that you will ever commit is not doing anything at all because you’re scared or preventing yourself from making a mistake.

During my little spare time, I have minor hobbies. I’m being influenced by the greater good to read more books. Also, I’ve recently picked up on video games again (and am getting a PS4 this summer!). Besides these new hobbies, I love exploring new places and tasting new food (or any food really). And of course, movies. Thank god for MoviePass (and let’s hope the new terms change).