Sophia Jefferson: Career Exploration

Sophia Jefferson, CS sophomore

Sophia Jefferson is a student who takes advantage of the opportunities Rice University has to offer. She encourages others to do the same.

“You don’t want to learn any less or any slower than you should when you are at Rice,” the computer science major from Angleton, TX said.

Rice has been place the where Jefferson’s interest for CS flourished. She credits classes COMP 140 and COMP 182 for invigorating her love of CS.

“Those classes really set my soul on fire for CS. I saw how big of an impact technology can have in different areas,” she said.

The introductory classes exposed Jefferson to projects in sports analytics, bioinformatics and machine learning. She said they were crucial to her career exploration.

“When you finish a project you think wow, I can really do something awesome here,” she said.

During her first summer at Rice, Jefferson was a research assistant for Scott Rixner, professor of CS and electrical engineering.

“I learned a lot about unit testing and the switch from Python 2 to Python 3. I helped switch CodeSkulptor from Python 2 to Python 3. I identified unit test passes and failures and started implementing and fixing features. I worked a lot in JavaScript,” she said.

As a sophomore, Jefferson is part of the women’s club soccer team, she is the marketing director for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and she is a member of CSters.

Looking back at her first years at Rice, Jefferson said time management, finding her priorities and mastering her learning style helped her succeed.

“There are so many things going on at Rice that you need to know how to manage your time well. You need to know when to lock yourself at Fondren (library) for a day or two. You need to know when to shut your computer down and go to sleep or when you need a break to avoid burn out,” she said.

Reaching out to friends for help, the Rice Emerging Scholars Program and teacher assistant’s office hours helped Jefferson gain confidence in her learning style.

“Learn how you learn best and do that in full force. I needed so much help in COMP 182. I went to almost all T.A. office hours, I took notes during lectures and I looked over all the slides. Find what works for you and do it religiously,” she said.

This summer Jefferson will be a technical analyst at JP Morgan, Houston.

“I’m excited to learn the role that technology plays in business and finance. It will be a new aspect of CS for me.”

–Cintia Listenbee, CS Publicist

Sophia Jefferson matriculated as a Computer Science major in Fall 2016.