When Asia Bryant ’14 enrolled at Vassar in 2010 she planned to major in psychology and pursue a career in the field after graduate school. And while she hasn’t entirely abandoned that path, she has taken a bit of a detour.
While she was at Vassar, Bryant discovered that in addition to enjoying psychology, she also loved working with computers. She graduated in May with dual degrees in psychology and computer science, and a month later she began a job in Atlanta writing software for AT&T. “I love the job, and I love the location – there’s lots to do in Atlanta,” she says.
Bryant is part of a six-person team developing programs for the company’s internal systems, which she says is enabling her to gain an understanding of how AT&T creates its products. “My first 18 months are largely devoted to training, to learning things that will be helpful in making decisions on where I want to go in the company from here,” she says.
Bryant says the firm provides plenty of support for her and other new employees. “Everyone on my team is really helpful, and every employee has a go-to person to discuss any difficulties we may be having,” she says. “And every six months, you review your performance with the training class that went before you to help you through anything you’re having trouble with.”
Bryant hasn’t encountered much trouble so far. “I’ve really become appreciative of how well Vassar prepared me for the real world,” she says. She landed the job at AT&T after meeting a recruiter for the firm last fall at a national technology convention, the Grace Hopper Women in Computing Conference, which she attended with computer science associate professor Jennifer Walter and seven other Vassar students.
And while she enjoyed living in a relatively rural setting at Vassar, Bryant says she’s glad to be spending time in a vibrant metropolitan environment. “I’m living right downtown, and there are plenty of restaurants and clubs and concerts and art museums and shopping opportunities nearby,” she says.
While she was at Vassar, Bryant was a member of Vass Shakers, a hip hop dance group, and she joined one in Atlanta shortly after she arrived there. “It’s really been fun – we’re rehearsing for a competition in Florida next month,” she says.
Bryant says she is still considering pursuing a graduate degree in psychology at some point in her life, but now that she’s launched a career in the technology industry, she’s not making any plans to switch fields any time soon. “I’m making good money right out of college, and my first goal is to get out of debt, maybe buy a house, and see where my current career is taking me,” she says. “Then maybe I’ll decide to go to grad school somewhere down the road.”
In the meantime, Bryant says, she’s just enjoying where she is and what she’s doing. ”People sometime ask me if I have a five-year plan, and I just don’t,” she says.