University of Chicago Masters Program in Computer Science alumni push boundaries and innovate across many facets of industry. Whether it’s developing seamless UX interfaces, engineering software at fortune 500 companies, working in big data or keeping networks secure; our esteemed alumni use their applied skills education from MPCS to problem-solve, create, and elevate the computer science field. Learn from their stories and discover how a CS background can prepare you for cutting edge careers and leadership roles.
Morenvino Mochtar, Class of 2014, is a Senior Software Engineer at Symantec. Morenvino details a day in the life of a senior software engineer, shares his favorite MPCS memory and reflects on how the MPCS prepared him for an in-demand career.
Did you come to MPCS with a computer science background?
Yes. I was a research engineer at Gemalto, a global digital security company, at their France and Singapore offices for 4 years. Prior to Gemalto, I was a researcher in the area of Computer Science in Indonesia. I also hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering.
What motivated you to apply and enroll in MPCS?
I applied to the MPCS because I wanted to become a world class security expert, enhance my knowledge and perfect my skills.
What was your favorite MPCS course? Why?
My favorite course was Big Data by Professor Mike Spertus because he covered the latest theory, concept, and practice of Big Data. This knowledge and skills are highly valued and sought by many top tech companies.
What is your favorite memory from your time spent as a MPCS student?
Spending time in researches with Professor Haryadi Gunawi. We did several interesting projects that have the potential to change the world of computing.
How has your MPCS education helped you achieve your professional goals?
An MPCS education has helped me achieve my professional goals in several ways. I am now a world class security expert with degree from a top university and working at a world class company.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I wake up at around 6am. After a short exercise and breakfast, I go shower and prepare for the day. During my 1 hour commute to the office, I plan what I will do for the day. I usually arrive to the office at 9am. I usually dedicate my time to do my most important work until 11am-- unless I have a morning meeting. Then, from 11am until noon, I respond to emails. From 12 to 1pm I go have a lunch at a nearby shopping mall. From 1 to 5pm, I usually do additional codings or have meetings. Between 5 - 6pm, if there is no last minute urgent deadline, I usually read about the latest tech news to keep me up to date with the latest development in IT. I leave office at around 6pm to enjoy the evening.
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
Well, first, my job allows me to program. I just love programming. Converting whatever idea you have in your mind into a program and then seeing it work on the computer--the joy is unbeatable. Seriously. Second, as I work in Symantec, I spend most of my time developing a program to secure the internet, making it a safer place for all of us.
Would you recommend MPCS to others? If so, why?
Absolutely. The program has a robust curriculum for a computer science professional. It equips student not only with theoretical knowledge and skills but also practical programming capability. For the students who are interested to pursue career as an IT professional, the program has a strong network with many reputable companies in the technology sector. It helps students to easily find a job in a world class company. For the students who are interested in pursuing a career as an CS academician, the program has strong research opportunities and many top-notch professors. Furthermore, the program is flexible and can be completed in one year. Additionally, the program allowed me to focus on the topics I am interested in (e.g. distributed networks, network security and machine learning).
What is a piece of advice you’d give someone considering applying to UChicago’s Masters Program in Computer Science?
You can’t go wrong with the MPCS! The experience is really worth it.