Coding the future: alumna discusses career path in tech


Gabrielle Nguyen '13. Nguyen now works as a software engineer for Ford. Photo courtesy of Nguyen.

Victoria Gardey '20, Web Editor

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That’s binary code for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), the booming field that is rapidly evolving, particularly in the area Gabrielle Nguyen ’13 works: technology and computer science.

Although she didn’t take any programming classes during her time at South, Nguyen found a niche in the tech industry while studying computer science at Wayne State. She later earned a Masters of Computer Science at Michigan State and now works as a software engineer at Ford Motor Company.

Many people have the idea that to find a good job in tech you have to go west to areas like Silicon Valley, but the job market here in Detroit is actually quite stable and jobs for software engineers are in high demand,” Nguyen said.

According to Nguyen, part of what drew her to the tech field was the flexibility in hours and location for work.

For women, they can be a part of the STEM field, while having the ability to work remotely or work from home,” Nguyen said.

For Nguyen, one of the best parts about working in computer science is getting to see her ideas actually come to fruition.

“You always need to keep up to date with the newest technologies and that’s very exciting because it’s a field that works with innovation,” Nguyen said. “You get to create new things and be involved with the latest stuff.”

The best advice Nguyen said she can give to someone considering a career in this field is to explore their interests and consider how they can apply tech to an industry of interest.

Working in tech is great because it can be applied to anything,” Nguyen said. “From design, real estate, banking, fashion, healthcare and the automotive field, technology has an essential role. You can find what you like and see how technology, and specifically software engineering, applies to it. Not only do you get to be on the cutting edge of new products, designs and services, but you get to create them and bring them to life.”