Anthony Huerta has already locked down a job at Amazon headquarters in Seattle – and he hasn’t even earned his bachelor’s degree yet.
Anthony had been interested in computer science while he was in high school, but it was his Spanish teacher who told him about the Engineering Pathway to the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign at Wright College. He already knew about the school, because both his parents had taken classes there, but the Engineering and Computer Science program was new to him.
“When I looked into it, I realized City Colleges would help me save an immense amount of money – so I applied,” said Anthony.
When he got to Wright, he says that everyone was very supportive and understanding – something he thinks is owed to the diversity of the students.
“There were non-traditional students and students right out of high school – and we supported each other on the way. Everyone is there to transfer, and everyone is motivating each other.”
Anthony, along with many of his classmates, joined the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and was the cofounding first president of the Association of Computing Machinery at Wright.
And when he graduated from Wright with an Associate in Engineering in May of 2021, he felt academically prepared to head to the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign’s School of Engineering to study computer science.
“I wouldn’t have gotten into the program at UIUC without the program at Wright College,” he said. “I went into computer science wanting to work at a large tech company and Wright has helped me get to that point.”
While at Wright, Anthony worked on creating an app to connect engineering and computer science students with mentors in the field who can offer informal advice as they plot their academic and professional futures. Someday, he says, he would like to create a service that will benefit people, but especially community college students.
Expecting to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in the spring of 2023, Anthony already has solidly started his career. After a successful internship at Amazon in the summer of 2022 where he worked on a new proof of concept for the Kindle platform, he was offered a full-time role as a software engineer at the tech giant’s headquarters in Seattle starting next summer.