Student Profile: Melissa Sweeney ‘13

Melissa SweeneyMelissa Sweeney ‘13

  • Computer Science Major, Special Focus in Marketing
  • Web Developer, Red Wing Shoe Co.

Who is Melissa?
WEC Graduate, AugSTEM Scholar, Web Developer at Red Wing Shoes, Associates Degree in Graphic Design from Brown Institute, Previous work at Hubbard Broadcasting and the Mayo Clinic

What brought you to Augsburg?
The programs and the flexibility offered by Augsburg’s WEC program is what brought me to the college. I knew that I would have to continue working full time while attending classes and Augsburg’s courses fit best with my schedule. My aunt is also an Augsburg WEC alumna so I was familiar with the weekend program.

What advice would you give to a first year student?
Don‟t be afraid to ask for help and don’t put off your studies. Spend some time on your homework each day. Lastly, don’t be intimidated by the coursework. With enough time and effort, you’ll get it.

What do you value most about Augsburg?
Small class sizes. At Augsburg you have the opportunity to get to know your classmates and professors so well. The professors here are very dedicated to their student‟s success; they make themselves available to students outside of class and office hours if needed. The classes are so small that the students and professors will ask “Is ‘so and so’ coming in today?” if you are running late. You are not one in a sea of many.

Why Design?
After high school I knew I enjoyed art, but I was leery of spending a lot of money at a 4 year university without knowing what career path I wanted to take. I started attending Century College and then transferred to Brown Institute to study Visual Communication. I realized that a career as a graphic designer was a great way of utilizing my creativity. After 10 years as a designer I needed more of a challenge and decided to pursue Web Development.

Tell us about your current position at Red Wing Shoes.
I’ve been working at Red Wing Shoes as a Web Developer for the last 2 months. I’m currently working on the team that is responsible for the company’s first e-commerce website. We are a small group of eight and it is because of our size that I have such an amazing opportunity to contribute to (and learn) about all aspects of developing an online retail store. As a web developer, I straddle the line between the creative and technical world. And this is what I like so much about what I do.

What is your average day like?
I work as part of an “Agile” development team, meaning we work iteratively and incrementally with many groups within Red Wing Shoe Company. We have a daily meeting where each member of the team explains what she or he had been working on the day prior and reports any challenges associated with the task, as well as what she or he will be working on that day. Currently I am building a prototype of our first online order process for our B2B customers. Next week I will be traveling to Germany in order to train on the e-commerce platform selected for the project. I will be learning the e-commerce mark-up language and how to plug-in the retail back-end solution into our front-end development.

Do you have any advice for prospective WEC students?
You don‟t have to know or choose your career path at age 18. If something peaks your interest later on in life, go for it. For working adults, I can’t think of a better place to be, with the great professors, students and community here. Also, I have to emphasize to all students that a LinkedIn account is essential. If you put your resume out there, especially as a computer science major, you will be contacted!

Do you have a question for Melissa?
Send her an email at: melcsweeney@gmail.com