Q&A: Grad set to work with defense industry in software engineering

Class of 2024

Apr 18, 2024
Alexander Bodoh

It’s never been difficult to spot Alexander Bodoh ’24 around campus at Florida Polytechnic University. While some simply look for his stylish and ever-present black fedora, others know him by his leadership, academic success, or campus involvement.

“I think of myself as an individual very focused on leadership and self-improvement,” said the Lakeland, Florida, native who will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in computer engineering on Sunday, May. 5. During his time as a student, Bodoh has served as an orientation leader, Presidential Ambassador, peer learning strategist, and a private tutor in computer programming and precalculus.

Why did you choose your major? 

Initially, I was focused on computer science. When I was in high school, I enjoyed using computers and was really interested in the art of video game development. When I went on my first tour at Florida Poly, I was excited to learn there was a wider variety of things that can be done with computer science, and that inspired me to teach myself programming. It got to the point that when I was ready to start my degree, I felt very comfortable with the software development side, so the hardware side in computer engineering really excited me as something new. 

How well do you feel Florida Poly prepared you for life after graduation?

I think it’s prepared me very well. I feel I’ve developed a lot more self confidence throughout my four years at Florida Poly than I had going in. I also developed a lot of foundational skills I believe will serve me really well in my career – things like leadership, time management, and the technical aspects as far as electronics, the software development process, mathematics, and things like that.

What does earning your degree mean to you?

It means the completion of something I’ve worked very hard for over the last four years. It really marks me moving into a new phase of my life that’s going to be a lot different. I’m looking forward to having a permanent job where I can be an effectively contributing team member. At the same time, it’s a little bittersweet. I am going to miss Florida Poly. Things will take a little getting used to. 

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m really excited about working in the defense industry. I really love the U.S. military. I think they’re admirable and brave and that’s something I want to support. I have a position lined up with the 76th Software Engineering Group at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. My brother is there. I’m specifically looking at doing the Palace Acquire Program through the Air Force Civilian Service. It allows new graduates to receive two years of professional development plus one year of master’s degree education fully paid for. 

What advice do you have for incoming students?

The skill of knowing how to learn on your own is vitally important in STEM industries. That’s sometimes easy to overlook because a lot of students are used to being taught from high school, and then of course there’s all the lectures of college. To really succeed, it’s vital to go beyond what students are formally taught and actually pursue learning things that interest them. That can be an edge when they’re trying to show an employer they are the person to be hired for a position. From what I understand, knowing how to learn is a skill highly valued by employers. It makes for versatile employees that can strongly benefit an organization.

How did the fedora become such an integral part of your look?

I like to do fun things with my family, and we like watching movies, and especially older movies. Fedoras are really cool hats you see, especially in the ’40s. I always loved that and thought it’s unfortunate it’s fallen out of modern fashion trends. It took me a while to find the right one – to find the one I really love. I wear it everywhere. My senior design team was kind of joking the other day when I was doing an interview that, ‘Wow, he doesn’t have his hat on! A rare sight!’ 

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of Q&As with several Florida Poly Class of 2024 graduates.


Lydia Guzmán
Director of Communications