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Testimonials from Recent Graduates

"I just wanted to say that my education in computer science at Northern Illinois University and written recommendations from its prestigious faculty members have opened many doors in competitive fields for me. During my time at NIU, I was successfully accepted to Naval Pilot training: was offered internships with NASA, the FBI, and Boeing; and obtained a Graduate Assistant position. Upon doing my Boeing interview, candidates were given an individual interview followed by a group interview. During the group interview, candidates work together to solve a computer science related issue. I cannot stress enough how well I was prepared for the group exercise because of the computer science classes I have taken at NIU. Even when I was an intern at NASA, there was never a task assigned to me that I felt uncomfortable doing or was unable to accomplish. Also, given the opportunity to be a Graduate Assistant for the Department of Computer Science has not only given my resume added work experience but has also given me the opportunity to master assigned subjects, and the challenging but rewarding task to help students understand the material and complete their assignments. With ambition, diligence, and NIU, there is no limit to what you can do."
Jeffrey Chojnacki, B.S. 2008, August 2013 M.S. candidate

“Thanks for teaching mainframe in the Computer Science program. It has helped me tremendously with my current job.”
Zaid M. Alattar, B.S. 2012, IBM in Tucson

“I've been at BMC as an associate product developer (assembler programmer) for a few weeks now, and thought you might like to hear how I was doing. All those rumors about mainframe programmers getting close to retirement age are completely true. Aside from the handful of new hires here, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is mid to upper 50's or older. They are actually hiring young programmers and training them (sort of "growing their own" IMS programmers) as a third resort. They first tried to outsource it, but there is not a large enough pool over in China and India (unlike the zounds of Java/C++ programmers over there.) Add to the list of benefits of the mainframe: Un-outsource-able. Next they tried to look among the applications they regularly receive from their customers, but again the talent wasn't there. So they've been grabbing NIU grads (that's right: exclusively NIU so far).” 
James Wilson, B.S., M.S. 2010, BMC in Texas

“I sincerely hope that you guys are still putting the same emphasis on mainframe skills that you did when I was a student, as I ‘blame’ that training for leading me to my original internship and eventual full time employment. The mainframe is still big here in the business world (especially big business), and my employer's mainframe training program, while very selective, is always looking for new people.”
Matthew Reiner, B.S. 2009, employed by a large financial institution

“I need to let you know that you guys have MORE than prepared me for this job. I am more advanced than many people who have been working here a while! A number of them are more intelligent than I am, but that’s not your fault. ;-) ”  
Paul Randall, December 2004 graduate, State Farm

“I’ve been at International for 5 years now as an IMS/DB2 system programmer and I love it.  I can’t tell you how much my mainframe experience at NIU has helped me in my career.  I hope the students realize how marketable the mainframe field is.  We actually have 4 system programmers on my team that are NIU alumni!”    
Michael Pry, May 2003 graduate, Navistar International

Testimonials from Intern Employers

“Milica has spent this summer as an intern in the Information Techology Services organization as a member of the Mainframe Operations Department at Texas Instruments Inc. She was given a very challenging assignment: Architect, develop, and test a Monitor capability to determine, detect, and report excessive application use from a workstation or server. TI has evaluated multiple vendor products for the past few years and none have this capability. This monitor is important because it will proactively detect inadvertent misuse of mainframe compute and network resources. We will be able to  quickly correct the misuse and thus save both compute and network bandwidth. With the progress that Milica has made this summer, we will avoid spending $280,000 in our budget that was targeted to get a vendor to supply this capability. ...Milica has impressed my manager, her technical leaders, her peers, and me with her technical skills, professionalism, communication skills, and her teamwork. TI will be making her an offer of full-time employment. In summation, Milica has had a very successful internship and has been a glowing representative for Northern Illinois University and its Computer Science Department.”
Terry Thompson, Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas

"We have had great success [in recruiting computer science majors from NIU] in the past. Two of our top performers are graduates of NIU. I am happy to say that I was part of the recruiting team that recruited them both."
John Banister, Wells Fargo

“Lucas has been an excellent addition to our team this summer. He brings such a wealth of programming skills that fit nicely with our agenda. His behavior and professional ethics have been exemplar, to say the least.”
Regis D. Parent, IBM, Essex Junction, VT

“Steven has good technical knowledge and the work he did at Discover contributed to my team and our department. Throughout his work efforts, Steven always conducted himself professionally, and he holds himself to high ethical standards. He is inquisitive and always asks relevant questions to gain a better understanding. Steven has good character and integrity and he believes in ‘doing the right thing.’”
David A. Riemer, Discover Financial Services, Riverwoods, IL

“Austin has done an outstanding job in everything the district has asked him to do. His knowledge and suggestions have brought about changes in our procedures that have saved many, many man-hours. We couldn't be happier with his performance.”
Jeff Hippen, Sterling Public Schools, Sterling, IL

“George is a very dedicated and conscientious employee. I feel very comfortable knowing that any project in which George is involved, will be handled in a timely and professional manner. George is very detail-oriented and diligent in accomplishing all the goals and objectives of the projects. From the perspective of personal traits -- George is far ahead of the rest of the pack and doing fine. George is very well respected as a professional by all of the other people at TCE Company.”
Brian Gatza, TCE Company, Inc.

“Aaron is very dependable. When he is assigned a task he completes it with ease and is quick to analyze a problem. Within the first month, Aaron was assigned a project to modify the accounts receivable database that our entire agency uses. He quickly discovered what code needed to be changed, made the adjustments, and documented the changes for everyone within a few hours.”
Barb Rude, Illinois Department of Transportation

“Evan has participated in the project seriously and professionally, interacting with the members of the team effectively and appropriately. Evan has ramped up quickly, requiring minimal supervision... Our experience with the Research and Development Internship program at NIU working with Evan was successful and I look forward to maintaining our relationship with Evan and the program for the future needs of the Grid Department at Fermilab.”
Gabriele Garzoglio, Fermilab

“Jennifer has been an asset to my team for these past 12 weeks. She is a self-starter who was able to demonstrate results in a short period of time with little assistance. She was eager to take on new assignments, and proactively looked for opportunities to keep herself busy when waiting for input on her primary project. Jen worked well with the UNIX team as well as individuals outside of the team to achieve her summer goals.”
Michelle Mariani, Abbott Laboratories

“Matt has been a pleasure to work with. He is very willing to assist our user clients with any issue they encounter and he is always able to dig for information or training materials without assistance. He has been very helpful with our migration of email users to our enterprise email vault.”
Diane Reeley, Illinois Department of Transportation

“It's a pleasure to have Esmeralda as a part of our Online Services team; she is a great addition.”
Marie P. Crepin, Harris Bank

“Anthony's performance as a Research and Development Intern has been outstanding. He has quickly learned the programming techniques and tools used for this project. He has usefully contributed to the profiling tool and has fixed several major problems. He asks questions when he needs help and does excellent independent work.”
Jim Kowalkowski and Marc Paterno, Fermilab

“Ryan has performed a fantastic job this summer and has exceeded our expectations. He juggled multiple roles on this assignment with ease and demonstrated his adaptability on multiple occasions. Ryan also displayed strong initiative in the way he handled his assignments with very little to no supervision. Ryan is a strong team player and interacts with his peers and customers very comfortably.”
Geetha Fisher, Abbot Laboratories

“Mike had quite a challenge ahead of him and I am happy to say that no matter what I throw at him, he takes it all in stride without comment and with a smile on his face. Mike is doing very well and has made great progress from day one, considering he had zero data center experience and was very unfamiliar with our environment. Mike is well on his way to becoming a stellar engineer.”
David Zimmerman, CME Group [Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group]

“I have had the pleasure of working with Jim this summer through the internship program with Sears Holdings Management Corporation. His performance on the project has been exemplary and has added significant value to our team during his time with us. Jim's conduct has been professional and he has fit very well within the team. I can whole-heartedly say that Jim's internship has been a success not only for him, but also for Sears Holdings, as he was able to learn new technologies and skills while providing value to our business by producing a set of quality deliverables that will be in use in a store environment.”
Tim Stall, Sears Holdings

“Sergio has completed his internship with our company and has far exceeded his goals this summer. He has displayed an excellent and extremely disciplined work ethic. I would like to state that the work and ideas that Sergio has brought to our team during his internship are of the highest caliber. He became highly interested in even the smallest details to produce quality results. I do believe that Mr. Zlobin has a bright future ahead of him.”
Peter Irizarry, Smartball International, d.b.a. Reball USA

“I am writing to inform you that the performance and conduct of our summer intern, Robert, has been excellent. It has been a pleasure having Robert as a part of my team this summer. I must also commend your organization on properly preparing Robert to excel during his summer internship. I am glad the Computer Science program is strong and well at NIU, as I am a '99 grad.”
Mark Ekkela, Abbot Laboratories

“Matt was an asset to our team and played a key role in developing reports, tools and training for business users of our Quality Assurance Workstation. Matt's overall performance and professionalism has been exemplary.”
Jennifer Kyung, Zurich

“Jason's performance as an intern has been outstanding. He has quickly learned the environment and technology used for this project. He has usefully contributed to the 'perfdb' application and our sampling profiler.”
Jim Kowalkowski and Marc Paterno, Fermilab

“Kevin's performance on various tasks during his internship has been excellent. He mainly worked on two different projects, sometimes requiring knowledge he did not possess at the start of his internship. Kevin expanded his skill set to successfully complete his tasks. He was motivated to learn and was proactive in seeking out information as needed. He clearly demonstrated ability to worked independently on tasks assigned to him.”
Mayur Patel, CME Group

“I would like to take this opportunity to let faculty and staff of the Department of Computer Science know about the great work that Erik has done at IBM during his past eight months as a Co-op. Erik has been a very valuable part of my team both with his technical accomplishments and his superior ability to work in a diverse team environment. As a Co-op, Erik has far surpassed my expectation of what he was to accomplish during his short time at IBM. He has not only impressed me but also impressed the open source Apache Geronimo community that he was asked to contribute to. In recognition of his efforts in the community, Erik was recognized by the Apache Geronimo Community by being awarded commit access. This honor is reserved for the folks with elite technical coding ability and sustained positive contribution to the project.”
Munaf Patel, Development Manager, IBM, North Carolina

“Their strong technical background 1) allows them to be productive 'Day One' and 2) provides the foundation so that they can learn and master new technologies. Their heavy workload prepares and enables them to take on substantial responsibility and not get overwhelmed by it.”
Steve Johnson, Allegiance, McGaw Park, Illinois

“When we hire a Northern Illinois University computer science graduate, we know we are obtaining an individual with strong technical skills who will be able to contribute immediately.”
Brad Anderson, Technology Practice Leader, Hewitt and Associates Lincolnshire, Illinois

“Jon's contributions to the team were well-received and his ability to learn quickly contributed to the success of the project.”
SecurityLink from Ameritech, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois

“His ability to learn and incorporate new technical concepts and to apply his educational knowledge has made him a productive member of the team from the moment of his arrival. His ability to learn quickly was an attribute that his team leaders admired the most because it translated into an ability to work independently with minimal supervision.”
Commonwealth Edison, Chicago, Illinois

“He has conducted himself professionally and has proven quite capable of picking up on technologies that are changing weekly. With technology changing so quickly, it would be impossible to tailor a college curriculum to meet every aspect a student will encounter, so teaching them the fundamentals and the ability to pick up new things is key.”
Millenium Technologies, Naperville, Illinois

“Dale's performance was outstanding and exceptional. His talent and drive to learn more allowed us to have him work on more exciting things [than documentation]. He produced code and GUI comps on or before they were due. He provided fresh ideas and feedback when asked. He was a pleasure to have in our work environment.”
eDimensions, Inc., Chicago, Illinois

“His ability to adapt quickly allowed him not only to successfully maintain the network from a technical perspective, but he had the 'soft' skills necessary to deal with the challenges of the personalities that make up CLC. NIU has been well-represented by this individual in ability, knowledge, and character.”
Computer Learning Centers, Inc., Schaumburg, Illinois

“Ernst and Young Application Services looks for talent and potential leadership in technology and client delivery. Robert has demonstrated strong technical aptitude, as well as the communications skills and drive that make a good EYAS associate. I hope that he pursues a career as an associate within EYAS.”
Ernst and Young Application Services, Chicago, Illinois

“Mark has demonstrated that he is a talented designer and web programmer, and he has made himself an invaluable member of the marketing team. Mark helped Endeavor out of many tight spots, and he should be commended for the quality and quantity of work he produces in the face of very strict deadlines. His work with our company led to Endeavor's creation of a marketing designer position specifically for him.”
Endeavor Information Systems, Inc., Des Plaines, Illinois

“Anh was very independent throughout his internship. We would give him an assignment and almost immediately it was completed. Unfamiliar concepts did not slow him down.”
IBM, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

“Anthony's performance has been excellent, accomplishing tasks with a high degree of attention and showing personal initiative during the course of every project he was assigned to. Anthony has always acted in a professional manner while at work and has integrated well with not only the IS staff, but with other departments (i.e., Marketing, Customer Service) as well.”
FTD.com, Downers Grove, Illinois

“Sharon conducted herself very well and performed to our full satisfaction. You should be proud to make available to us such a high caliber summer intern.”
Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois

“We really appreciate the NIU Internship program and the caliber of students/interns that you have been able to provide us with. It is a true testament to the high quality of education that NIU provides.”
Houghton Mifflin Company, St. Charles, Illinois

“Andrew has proven to be the best summer intern who has worked for this department. (This is a significant compliment, because my second-best intern came from Stanford.) Andrew made several persons remark that Northern Illinois University must have an excellent computer science program.”
IBM's Santa Teresa Laboratory, California

“You should be proud to make available to us such a high-caliber summer intern.”
Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois

“He was able to quickly apply his skills from courses at Northern Illinois University to our project. Within days of joining our team, Jon was able to work in our mainframe environment and answer questions regarding COBOL.”
Hewitt, Linconshire, Illinois

“Rochelle is extremely well-prepared for the work environment and we would love to see her return as an employee after her studies are completed. It is pleasant to see that the university is still producing top-notch programmers.”
Discover Financial Services, Riverwoods, Illinois

“Stephen has tremendous problem-solving ability. It's been a pleasure working closely with Stephen on this project.”
Nicor Gas, Naperville, Illinois

“He is considered a valued team member. I graduated from NIU in 1990 and was quite pleased with the education I received and the opportunities it provided. I can see that the education delivered to your students today has kept pace with the changing marketplace.”
Everen Securities, Chicago, Illinois

“Overall, Jen was treated as an equal on the project team and she performed accordingly.”
State Farm, Bloomington, Illinois

“Tim learned everything we taught him, usually after only one lesson. What he didn't know, he would find a book and read and learn. IMRF does not have a separate review policy for interns. Rather, standards in place to evaluate programmers are used. The work completed by Tim places Tim in the Outstanding category.”
Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, Oak Brook, Illinois

“He also learns very quickly and did a good job of instructing me when necessary.”
Caterpillar, Aurora, Illinois

“Melissa's work certainly played a key role for the Sales Systems group in delivering a number of critical projects. Her conduct has been very professional, and she has been an extreme joy to work with.”
Kraft Foods, Northfield, Illinois

“Tim impressed up with his technical skills, his communications skills, and his work ethic. He cast a fine reflection on Northern Illinois University.”
ComEd, Lombard, Illinois

“Munaf is a great asset to our team and I commend you and your fellow colleagues for turning out such a fine student.”
IBM, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

“During Paul's internship, he has shown great aptitude for learning and mastering a new computer language while using it in live situations.”
Dartek Computer Supply Corp., Naperville, Illinois

“With his attitude and skills, he has functioned as a regular member of my team in every respect. His abilities underscore my favorable opinion of the Computer Science program at Northern.”
Discover Financial Services, Riverwoods, Illinois

“We have continually challenged Curtis in many ways, technically and logically, and he has met each one head on. We have extended an offer for full time employment after his schooling is complete because of the exceptional abilities he has demonstrated.”
Walgreens, Deerfield, Illinois

“In summary, Jason has done a truly outstanding job, and has further enhanced the reputation of Northern Illinois University.”
IBM San Jose, California

“Terri's ability to learn and apply and her way of working with other members of her team have been great.”
IBM's Santa Teresa Laboratory, California