Shane Ficorilli ’15 is DevOps Engineer in the CERT Division at the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University.
Why did you choose La Roche?
I was recruited to play lacrosse, but being a Pittsburgh native, I was looking for a school with a small classroom environment that was close to home. I didn't just want to be a number in a lecture hall. I'm also a diehard fan of the North Park Lounge, which is right next to campus.
Why would you recommend La Roche to a prospective student?
La Roche allows students to have a personal relationship with their professors, which is one of the contributing factors to my overall academic success. Additionally, the professors at La Roche—Dr. Lynn Archer, Professor Jane Arnold, Dr. Janine Bayer and Dr. Ryan O' Grady, for example—are world-class. La Roche professors have careers worth of industry experience and are more than willing to go above and beyond to ensure that each individual student is successful.
What impact did La Roche have on you as a person?
La Roche helped me to become the person that I am today. The bonds I formed with members of the men's lacrosse team never would have occurred if La Roche didn't bring us all together.
How did La Roche prepare you for this position?
I earned a Bachelor of Science in information technology, along with a double minor in computer science and computer security and forensics. This unique combination of technology degrees was the perfect blend that I needed for my current position, since "DevOps" is the coming together of Software Development/Engineering and Operations (IT).
How did a degree from La Roche help you advance your career?
My degrees from La Roche helped me to be admitted to graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University, where I earned a Master of Science in information security policy and management. La Roche provided a solid tech foundation that was absolutely necessary in order to succeed at the highest level.
How did participating in La Roche activities enhance your college experience?
As a four-year member of the men's lacrosse team, I was able to meet and play alongside roughly 10 Canadians, with most of them being from Alberta. The friendships that I've made with not only my Canadian teammates, but with all La Roche laxers, will last a lifetime because we persevered against our opponents with an extremely small team roster.
What advice do you have for our students?
Keep your head up. Just because something doesn't work out with your ideal employer or after numerous interviews, that doesn't mean you won't find a job. Your skills will be valued and appreciated by the right company.
Go to class and get your work done! Professors appreciate attendance more than anything and will be more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt if you are ever in academic trouble. As much fun as I had during my career at La Roche, my academics always came first. If that means staying in the library until it closes on a Friday night, so be it.
What is your favorite memory of being a La Roche student?
Easily grilled cheese and tomato soup day in the cafe. If you weren't there, you were missing out.
Please describe an experience with a faculty or staff member who made a strong, positive impact on you:
Dr. Leland McCauley is a retired professor from the Computer Science Department. Many students were not fond of Dr. McCauley's classes for one reason: they were extremely difficult.
Dr. McCauley challenged students by pushing their computer science and engineering skills to their limits and forced you to do what you thought you were not capable of doing. The rigor of his classes gave me the chops to not only hold my own, but to excel at Carnegie Mellon. I will be forever grateful for that.