Claudia Martinez ’17 is accustomed to breaking the mold.
She is the first in her family to go to college. As a female majoring in computer sciences, she is in the minority in many of her classes, “I know a lot of girls who enjoy computers and gaming as much as I do, but they lean toward other sciences.”
In her first year or so at Mercy, Martinez took general education courses while making up her mind about her major. “I loved art and science and wasn’t sure which path I wanted to take. But after I joined Mercy’s STEM program and we visited IBM I was sold on computer sciences. I began taking courses in computer architecture and programming.”
When she was growing up, her father worked at a video game store, and Martinez would often spend afternoons there, helping out. She quickly learned the answers to questions customers often asked—a skill that comes in handy now that she works part-time at GameStop.
Martinez believes she has inherited her parents’ can-do spirit.
Both parents emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, and neither has attended college. The entire family shares a love of computers, social media, and “anything written about Steve Jobs.” When anyone learns new skills or tricks, they teach each other. “It must be in our blood,” she mused.
Back to those dreams: Martinez one day hopes to land an internship at a video game company, and would like to learn Japanese “because Nintendo headquarters is in Tokyo.” With a few semesters left before graduation, she is finding her way by following her passions. “I’m always trying to find out about new video game releases,” she said. “I’m starting to think I should create one of my own.”