Lena Hajjar

Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Lena Hajjar

Place of Residence

Stoughton, Massachusetts

Program

Master of Liberal Arts, Software Engineering, 2018

Professional Field

Software Engineer, Everquote

Prior Education

Bachelor's degree in biostatistics and mathematics, Emmanuel College
Everybody I met with treated me like I was their only student, and they were always there when I needed them.

May 2018

How has this experience helped you in your career or personal development?

Every project or class I finished increased confidence in myself: if I can do these projects, then surely I can ace a job interview and work in the field. Ultimately between the coursework and the support from Harvard Extension's faculty, this program is what landed me my job.

What types of student resources and special options did you take advantage of as a student at Harvard?

I used as many resources as I could. My advisor was always available to talk whether it was in person or over email. I would always go to office hours if I needed help. I also relied on the advice and resources from Career Services when it came time to look for a new position. Everybody I met with treated me like I was their only student, and they were always there when I needed them.

Do you have a favorite class or faculty member?

In my second semester, I took Unix/Linux Systems Programming with Bruce Molay and Computer Architecture with James Frankel. That was the hardest semester I ever had, but they are by far two of my favorite courses because I got a real sense of what the software engineering field can be like. The faculty was very encouraging and offered a lot of time to help us really understand the material. By the end of the semester, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I could do well in the field.

Do you have any advice for new students?

Be ready to master your time management skills, and do NOT be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Describe your Harvard Extension School experience in one word.

Opportunity.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length

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