Lauren DeFrancesco

Class of 2020-2021

Grand Valley State University, 2020
Computer Science

Why I chose ESTEEM:

After doing an internship my senior year of undergrad in software development, I learned that a job coding for 8 hours a day was not for me. As an out-of-the-box thinker and someone who likes to take the initiative, ESTEEM seemed like the best graduate program to help me foster and hone these character traits. Also, with the high quality of fellow students in the ESTEEM, I knew it would be the perfect learning environment to push me to best I could be. Additionally, the capstone project was a big determining factor in joining ESTEEM. The chance to work on a real world project with a large company was something I couldn’t pass up.

My capstone project and why I'm excited about it:

For my capstone this year I'm working with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to develop a strategy and plan to employ an architecture that optimizes the use of and latest thinking when it comes to the use of microservices in a complex environment. This project is exactly why I enrolled in ESTEEM. It will allow me to learn how to combine my technical skills with the business world in a practical manner. Also, the ability to work with and interact with upper management and an executive team at a company like PwC is…“priceless.”

What I hope to do after ESTEEM:

There are a few different paths I foresee after graduation. One is working as a technology consultant. Another option will be to seek out a project management position at a large company. The ability to combine my technical skills and newly learned business skills to bridge the gap between a tech team and what a company is trying to accomplish on projects would be quite rewarding.

What I like to do when I'm not working:

In a word…travel. There is nothing more interesting than to travel around the world seeing different places and meeting new people. Travel, at times, also lets me spend quality time with family members who I don’t get to see as often as I would like.