Juan Cirilo

Juan Cirilo
Queens, NY
Year of Graduation

Why Oneonta

Juan Cirilo with Oneonta Banner

I wanted to get out of the city. College in New York City would have felt the same as high school. SUNY Oneonta is a few hours from the city but not too far from home. Then when I came here, something about the scenery and the campus felt big, but it was small enough to see myself here every day.

Coming to Oneonta, being independent and doing things for myself was a new experience and transition for me because I come from a close family. Overall, it was good to become independent, and I felt confident making that decision for myself. I liked the idea of coming to a smaller area, but the snow was the biggest surprise. I didn’t bring boots my first semester because the snow in the city is never that bad.

Why Computer Science

I like different things about my Computer Science major and Mathematics minor.

In a lot of my Computer Science classes, I'm actively coding or designing and developing websites, which after college is what you're going to be doing in that field. Ideally, I'd love to do front-end web development for some tech company. My dream company is Buzzfeed.

The professors for my Mathematics courses have been great. They have always allowed me to talk to them outside of class. Each professor teaches differently, which is a good way of learning a subject. So, for example, in one of the courses I took, we would sit in class and practice, and then at home, we would teach ourselves the next topic. That helped me a lot.

I enjoy how all the classes force you to think critically. You’re encouraged to take a step back, reexamine everything and approach things from different angles. That's an extremely beneficial skill to learn.

Best Experiences

My best experiences have been joining theater and clubs because they've made me branch out so much more than I would have without them. They forced me to step inside a community I wasn’t familiar with.

Juan Cirilo SWEAT performance
Theatre performance of SWEAT in Fall 2022.
Juan Cirilo Evil Dead
Theatre performance of The Evil Dead in Spring 2023

The first club I joined here was the Mountain Biking Club. While I consider myself an active person, I never could have seen myself biking down a hill in the middle of the woods. So that put me in a different place with things I wasn't comfortable with, and I met people who do other activities like skiing and snowboarding. Every club I've joined did that for me in one aspect or another.

Juan Cirilo Mountain Bike Club
Last semester on New Island trails.
Juan Cirilo Mountain Bike Club
Few years ago on a trip to Vermont.

Advice for New Students

Tons of professionals on campus have told me this: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” That phrase really stands out to me because, in college, I think you have to put yourself in a position to step out of your comfort zone to grow. That is how you learn who you are and experience things to confidently understand yourself and know what you want to get out of life.

Juan Cirilo Dragon Guide
Juan working orientation as a Dragon Guide.

After Oneonta

I recently had a change of heart with the path I want to take. I am now pursuing Data Science, focusing on Machine Learning at Clarkson University for my master's. In the longer term, I am looking to attain my Ph.D. because I want to become a professor, but first I want to work in the fitness industry developing algorithms.

After I graduate from SUNY Oneonta, I’ll be working for Success Academy Charter School as an assessment associate. The major responsibilities are coordinating assessment and academic logistics and maintaining data systems. In 20 years, I will remember the community and people I have met the most at SUNY Oneonta. The weather will be a close second though.

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