Jacob Ramirez found his career path in computer engineering at Tidewater Community College.
A 2021 graduate of Salem High School, Jacob wanted to stay close to home for college. He enrolled at TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus to study engineering. While there, he took computer engineering classes and found his purpose.
“I thought I was going to be a music person. That changed when I was able to fix a hinge on a shower door at my house. That’s what got me thinking about engineering and then it all came together at TCC,” he said.
This May, Jacob, 21, is earning an Associate of Science in Engineering. Jacob is the Speaker for the Graduates and will share his story during the 76th Commencement Exercises on May 8.
While at TCC Jacob participated in the STEM and Engineering Clubs. He also competed in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Robotics competition with a team from TCC that took third place nationwide. Those experiences helped him learn to work on a team and offered hands-on training for his chosen career field.
“I gained experience in designing and problem-solving and learned how to actually build something,” he said. “We do this in class, but the clubs and activities take it to a whole other level.”
Jacob expanded his learning at the college by including musical studies. He was part of TCC’s Jazz band and took several music classes. An experienced band member from Salem High, Jacob is proud to become a member of the Virginia Tech marching band next fall.
“There’s a lot of learning to be done at TCC,” Jacob said. “I had the chance to interact with a diverse student body, making me more well-rounded as a student and a future computer engineer.”
A member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year schools, Jacob holds a perfect 4.0 GPA at TCC. “I enjoyed the people at TCC, the professors, the community. It was better than I could have imagined,” he said.
Jacob will transfer to Virginia Tech in the fall of 2023. He will be a junior in the computer engineering baccalaureate program.
A Virginia Beach native, Jacob gained lifelong friends at TCC, and three of them will attend Virginia Tech alongside him.
“I definitely got my money’s worth at TCC. But the best part is that I’m ready for the next steps,” Jacob said. “And I have a group of friends that are joining me on the journey. What could be better than that!”