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W&L Outcomes: Jackson Jacobs ’24 Jacobs is working as a software engineer at RVO Health.

Jackson-Jacobs-600x400 W&L Outcomes: Jackson Jacobs ’24

Jackson Jacobs ’24
Major: Computer Science and politics
Hometown: Bridgeport, West Virginia

What will you be doing after graduation?

I will be a software engineer at RVO Health, a company with a variety of health-oriented brands and services.

How did your career plans evolve over the course of your time at W&L?

When I first started at W&L, I was unsure of what I wanted to do. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to major in computer science. However, after I took the course on software development during my sophomore year, I was certain that I wanted to major in computer science and become a software developer.

What internships or other summer experiences did you partake in and how did those experiences shape you and your career plans?

After my sophomore year, I interned as a software developer for Xator, which gave me some good experience with working in a team environment on software projects. During the summer after my junior year, I interned for RVO Health as a software engineer. My time as an intern at RVO got me accustomed to working with large codebases. My job at RVO required that I learn unfamiliar technologies quickly, which was invaluable experience to someone looking to go into software development. I think both internships helped me become a better developer and made me feel that working with software was a career path that I really wanted to pursue.

How did the Office of Career and Professional Development support you, and which resources did you find most helpful?

I was preparing to apply for some software internships during my sophomore year, and I met with a Career Fellow to help me get my resume in order. The resume templates and advice from the Career Fellow were very helpful.

What did you study at W&L, and what are some skills or learnings you will take from your academic experience into the professional world?

I studied computer science, and I also majored in politics. The primary skill that I will take into the professional world is knowing how to think about and approach tough problems. My favorite classes revolved around solving hard problems, and we learned optimal strategies for reaching solutions. These strategies were, of course, programming-oriented, which will be valuable to me in my career for obvious reasons.

What clubs, organizations, athletic teams or other extracurriculars were you involved in that had an impact on you?

I was on the W&L cross country and track and field teams. Running has taught me the importance of hard work, staying calm and discipline. I have learned that things aren’t always going to go your way, but the most important thing that you can do is stay calm and work as hard or harder the next day — no matter how you feel about the situation.

Who or what has inspired you along the way?

My teammates on the cross country team inspired me every day. I could not have asked for a more hardworking and diligent group of people.

What career-related advice would you give to next year’s graduating class?

Job markets change fairly frequently. The most important thing you can do when prospects are not great is to not allow yourself to get frustrated and leverage all of your resources.