Ritchel Calvaire ’22 receives his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering on Sunday, May 8. The achievement is one that marks four years of exploration, development, and self-realization at Florida Polytechnic University. Calvaire explored many campus opportunities to learn and grow, including leadership positions as a Presidential Ambassador, resident assistant, and orientation leader. He also was a member of Rotaract, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Latin American Studies Association, and the Mu Omega Chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) academic honor society.
How well do you feel Florida Poly prepared you for life after graduation?
I’ve gained a lot of skills from my involvement here, not just academically, but socially and with soft skills. I’ve also been able to really know myself – like how I get motivated to do mundane work or to fulfill my responsibilities, and overall learning how I learn and get things done. I’ve had a lot of self-realization here.
Where did you complete your internship and what did you learn from the experience?
I had a remote internship at Dell last summer. I gained a lot of insight into the type of company culture I would like to work for. I also gained a lot of mentorship and knowledge about what the world was expecting from us, and how when that transition period occurs, they will start expecting you to perform at a certain capacity. The experience answered for me a lot of internal questions and curiosities I had about transitioning from post-graduation to a professional workplace.
What was your greatest accomplishment at the University?
It’s the people I’ve met and made connections with starting with the mentors I’ve been able to learn from – such as the Presidential Ambassadors program, the friends and workplace colleagues I’ve been able to make as an RA, and the people in classes. Those connections have had a profound impact on me and how I’ve been able to mature, as well as me learning my skills and how I can help them in return. That dynamic has been my biggest accomplishment.
What are your plans after graduation?
I’ll be moving to North Carolina to work for Vanguard in their Technology Leadership Program. It’s a rotational program. I’m going to be learning where I want to end up and traverse rotations that will give me the skills and insight into what the position will look like full time. I am very lucky. I got this position through the Management Leadership for Tomorrow program I joined during my sophomore year.
What does earning your degree mean to you?
Looking back, it’s been a childhood dream fulfilled. Since I was in elementary and middle school, I always dreamed of being in the tech field – or doing something related to tech and never really knowing if I had an affinity for it or knowing if it meshed well with my intrinsic skills or the skills I’m able to learn. Having gone through these four years, that’s the validation or confirmation of everything I was curious about.
Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of Q&As with some of Florida Poly’s Class of 2022 graduates.
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