Student Spotlight: Mely Arias C’22

Mely Arias C’22                           

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in the Dominican Republic, and I lived there until I was 10-years-old. Then, I moved to Newark, NJ, and I have been living there ever since.

What attracted you to Drew?

I was attracted most to the people, the campus, and the small class sizes. The community is so friendly and I have encountered many people at Drew that generally care about me and my personal and professional development. Moreover, I also fell in love with the campus as soon as I saw it. It is so beautiful and relaxing to sit and do my work surrounded by green pastures and beautiful trees. When in class, I also feel comfortable asking questions and expressing my opinions because of the small class sizes.

Why did you choose Computer Science as a major?

I was exposed to Computer Science in High School through a program called Girls Who Code. This program taught me programming concepts in a personal and fun way that hooked me from the start. I knew computer science would allow me to create anything. It is fascinating for me to be able to replicate small brain-like procedures for the computer to perform as algorithms.

Did you have an idea of a dream job when you started at Drew?

When I started at Drew, I wanted to be a Software Engineer but after a couple of semesters at Drew, I discovered a passion for Cyber Security.

Have you done any internships?

I was able to do a virtual internship with a company called ANZ in Australia. I was able to learn some of the rudimentary concepts in cyber security such as social engineering. As a result, this internship further developed my interest in this field.

What issue in the world means the most to you?

The issue in the world that means the most to me is the lack of education in many countries, especially those that still have high illiteracy rates.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew?

One of my favorite memories at Drew was the picnic that we had at the end of the school year of 2019. There was a big bouncy castle and different types of food as well as games and activities.

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t know something, ask. The Drew community is there to help you so you don’t get stuck during your college journey. Don’t wait till you are stuck to ask for help.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

My career goal is to work for the U.S. government in Cyber Security. I also see myself owning my own company in 5 years.

Are there any fun facts you would like to share?

I enjoy playing the piano and jumping rope.

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