California Dream a Reality for Double Alumnus, Software Engineer

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Growing up in Uzbekistan, Alisher Begmatov dreamed that one day he would live in California.

Several years ago, Alisher’s dream became a reality when he enrolled as a student in Dominican’s AACSB-accredited Barowsky School of Business (BSB). Today, after excelling as a student – earning both a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Computer Science (ACS) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Alisher is a software engineer at Microsoft.

Indeed, working in Northern California’s vibrant tech industry is yet another dream come true.

While he did not have a background in computer science, an interest in technology and a talent for mathematics led Alisher to the ACS program.

“I loved the connection between mathematics and computer science and the world of possibilities and opportunities that the combination of mathematics and computer science provided,” he recalls.

When it came to learning computer science, the program’s hands-on structure also was the perfect fit.

“The structured curriculum and comprehensive courses equipped me with a solid foundation and ignited my curiosity to explore the intricate world of programming through rigorous studies and hands-on projects,” Alisher says.

“The ACS program not only imparted theoretical knowledge, but also sharpened my practical skills, preparing me for real-world challenges. This robust education became the cornerstone of my success when I sought opportunities in the tech industry.”

As he advanced through the ACS program, Alisher gained a strong knowledge of programming languages, algorithms, and problem-solving methodologies. He excelled in the coursework, gaining advanced technical skills in HTML, CSS, SCSS, SASS, D3, JavaScript, TypeScript, Swift, Python, SQL, Tailwind, Bootstrap, Gatsby, Figma, Canva, Next.js, React, Redux, React Native, Ionic, Vue, Node, Handlebars, Pug, Flask, and Django.

Class projects allowed him to apply everything he was learning. Projects included developing a front-end web application featuring an auto maker’s full model lineup with React, Redux, and Tailwind CSS. He developed a full-stack web application displaying worldwide electric car information, including sorting the data by price, top speed, acceleration, and range. He also created primarily animations to display the specifications of each electric car utilizing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, D3, and SVG.

Alisher had initially connected with recruiters from several tech firms, including Microsoft, during a career fair organized by the ACS program. The hands-on coursework gave him confidence while navigating the competitive recruitment process.

“The proficiency gained through my education proved invaluable during interviews and technical assessments, allowing me to showcase my capabilities effectively,” Alisher says. “I credit Dominican for fostering an environment that cultivated my passion for computer science and provided me with the essential tools to secure a position at Microsoft.”

Alisher initially gained a spot in Microsoft’s competitive Tech Resilience Program. After completing the program, he was offered a three-month software engineer internship at Microsoft.

During his internship, Alisher worked with the Microsoft front-end team. He helped to redesign one of Microsoft’s product landing pages by designing and implementing the UI, which resulted in an improved UX and SEO, as well as a significant increase in traffic.

Alisher’s skills impressed his supervisors – and led to a job offer.

Alisher graduated from the ACS program in May 2022 and immediately started a full-time job as a software engineer at Microsoft. Today, he collaborates with Microsoft project managers, architects, and UX designers to design and specify new engineering features.

His positive experiences in the ACS program led Alisher to continue his graduate studies at Dominican, where he enrolled in the one-year MBA program. The program’s flexible format allowed him to do so while working full-time at Microsoft. His goal is to become a project manager.

“My journey as a software engineer provided me with a profound understanding of technological frameworks and problem-solving,” Alisher explains. “Enrolling in the MBA program at Dominican was a strategic pathway toward achieving a career transition to project manager. The program offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to cultivate not only a deeper understanding of business principles but also leadership development and strategic decision-making skills.”

In the MBA program, Alisher immersed himself in courses focused on project management, organizational behavior, and strategic planning. He acquired a holistic perspective crucial for steering complex projects and teams effectively, studying executive business communication, and global supply chain courses.

As with the ACS program, Alisher also excelled in the MBA program. He was inducted as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business Honor Society. He also benefited from the MBA program’s networking opportunities, gaining valuable insights and connections while engaging with industry professionals and thought leaders.

But, most of all, Alisher valued the mentorship he received in the MBA program.

“Regardless of the course or the professor, I always knew that I could rely on the professor’s support and expertise,” he says. Courses taught by Dr. Jacob Massoud, Dr. Thomas Cavanagh, and Dr. Vafa Saboorideilami were particularly beneficial.

“Dr. Jacob Massoud could always relate any coursework to the real world. Dr Thomas Cavanagh created an innovative way of completing the coursework through self-paced modules, allowing me to complete the coursework faster so that I could focus on the other coursework that required more time to complete” Alisher says.

“Dr. Vafa Saboorideilami always knew the answer to the question. He demonstrated an outstanding level of expertise in the subject that he was teaching. I always knew that if I had a question, he always had an answer.”

As a double Dominican alumnus, Alisher says he feels strongly connected to the Dominican community – it has become like family. He enjoys working out in the Conlan Recreation Center, a perk that comes with his alumni status.

“The Dominican campus is an extension of my house. The campus itself does not feel like an urban area even though it is not far from San Francisco,” he says.

“The main reason why I am still on campus almost every day even after graduation is because of the surrounding nature, architecture, and community of the campus. When I am working out in Conlan, I always see people that I know which allows me to keep in touch with them even after graduation.”

Alisher also strongly advocates for Dominican, encouraging both domestic and international students to follow his example – and follow their dreams.

“Do not be afraid that you might not know “enough” of the subject or even the language. There is always room to learn and to gain knowledge in the area that once was unknown.”

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