Building a Supportive Network

“It’s been really rewarding to see how far I’ve come. My CS foundation is really strong.” Avin Magee (CS '20)

Alvin Magee Rice University student

Alvin Magee (CS ’20) is proud to help students as a TA at COMP 140.

“It’s been really rewarding to see how far I’ve come. Being a TA also helps me certify what I know to make sure my CS foundation is really strong,” he said.

The decision to major in CS didn’t come naturally for Magee. He thought technology was interesting but never imagined he would work in the industry.

“I thought CS would be daunting but it gave me more confidence,” Magee said.

During his junior year in high school, Magee decided to take CS classes. His goal was to be more competitive for the college application process.

“CS made me think differently than natural sciences. CS is rewarding. You can see the output of your code immediately and you can discover what you can do in such a small amount of time with technology,” he said.

Shortly after he started his freshman year at Rice, Magee learned the importance of connecting with his peers. “In high school I would work alone. I didn’t have a group of people to rely on,” he said.

“Here Rice, the best thing I did was to find a supportive network of people I can ask questions from technical to career and life advice. This helped me be successful so far,” Magee said.

After his freshman year at Rice, Magee was accepted to the Facebook University internship. The program immerses underrepresented minorities in eight weeks of learning about engineering, analytics, product design, operations and global marketing solution roles. This summer, Magee is returning for his third software engineering internship with Facebook. This time, he hopes to learn something different from the previous years.

“This past semester I was deciding if I should go back to Facebook or try another company. I was wondering, should I try a new opportunity or go back to what I knew. The past two summers I worked on iOs development. This summer, I will work on Android,” he said.

Magee serves as treasurer of NSBE, the National Society of Black Engineers. NSBE was founded in 1975 with the goal of increasing the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professional and positively impact the community.

“NSBE helps students with career development. We want to help students with internships and full-time jobs. We recently had an event for freshmen where upperclassmen offered academic advice. We had a panel of MBA students focused on how to go from a technical role to an MBA. It was informative and it gave us the opportunity to think about career development,” Magee said.

In his downtime, Magee enjoys being part of the leadership of Rice’s Black Student Association. He also works as a student manager in the Recreation and Wellness Center. As reflects on his Rice CS path, Magee said he has made progress.

“Rice CS has taken my technical skills to a whole new level. When I came here my freshman year, I didn’t think it would be possible to solve the problems I’m solving with the time and resources I had. I’m thankful I am learning a lot these past three years. I’m really grateful for everything Rice has given me so far.”