Sense of Community
Although he transferred to another school earlier in his undergraduate career, Michael “Mikey” Valenzuela quickly transferred back to New York Tech. “I feel comfortable, confident, and at home here,” he says.
Valenzuela, a computer science major, says that he loves the community and social life at the university. “I like going to the involvement fair every semester, hosting fraternity and sorority events, and participating in Campus Programming Board events,” he says, adding that the clubs and sense of community were other reasons he came back.
He has made the most of his education here. In 2020, Valenzuela was a recipient of the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Scholarship. “It’s not every year that someone at New York Tech gets selected,” he says. He also says that his work with the DoD helped him broaden horizons. “Before, I was stubbornly decided. I wanted to become a software engineer at Google. But once I was awarded the DoD scholarship, I opened my mind to bigger and greater things. I always had an interest in cybersecurity, and the scholarship allowed me to explore that path,” he says.
As he prepares to graduate, Valenzuela fondly recalls a group project he participated in at New York Tech called Snake Game. “We created the game with a twist. When the user starts the game, there is a hack waiting to attack. The hack is dormant until the user reaches a new score. This was fun because I got to use my programming skills.” He says he especially enjoyed presenting this game to his class.
“New York Tech has done a great job preparing me for life postgraduation,” he says. “It has given me confidence, skills, and the mindset to succeed not only in my field, but in my goals.
For anyone with big goals, ambitions, and dreams, anything is possible in this world. We must all learn to live life without fear. If you want something, it is as simple as asking for it. Taking risks and asking questions can definitely go a long way.”