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Emma Lopez (C’22)

Student Software Developer, iFixit

Emma never expected to attend Principia College. She knew she wanted to be an engineer, so the idea of a liberal arts college didn’t seem necessary. But after an engaging visit and learning about the number of female engineering graduates who were working at big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon, she changed her mind.

It was Emma’s professor who announced the internship opportunity for iFixit to the Computer Science Department, at which point she said, “Sign me up!” After an initial screening with her professor, she interviewed with iFixit developers and completed their project-based assessment. 

Emma’s role as a Student Software Developer gave her a lot of autonomy. If she saw an issue that she could tackle, she’d touch base with a Senior Software Developer before performing research and coding.

“I saw things that I’ve changed on a real site, which is unique to working with a smaller company. It’s really cool to see,” says Emma.

She also sat in with senior developers to learn how they’re approaching projects. “iFixit is cool because they’re investing in us as interns,” she adds.

Emma credits her musical theater background and her experience at Principia in giving her the confidence and diplomacy needed to land a position with iFixit. The problem-solving skills, work ethic, and perseverance she gained from her hardware architecture course were also beneficial to her work. 

Emma has tutored computer science students and enjoys coding for side projects. She has participated in Swing Club and performed in the Lazy Zipper improv and the Plus 1 Acapella groups on campus.

Must-Take Courses: Introduction to Programming; Piano Class; Object-Oriented Programming

Favorite Principia Moment: Swing Club and the Anderson House Christmas party where we sang karaoke.

Dream Job: At some point, I want to work in robotics and work a year in Australia. Also, I would love to work at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory or for a company like Spotify or SoundCloud.

Advice for Incoming Students: It’s not what you think it’s going to be. My wildest fascinations about college didn’t scratch the surface of how rich it is.

Emma Coding