Mareline Ramirez

FIU Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences offers excellent undergraduate computer science programs.

The College of Engineering & Computing (CEC) is proud of its students’ commitment to research, study, and accomplishments in the classroom and beyond. Meet Mareline Ramirez.

Hometown: Miami, Florida
Degree/major: B.S. in Computer Science

Why did you choose FIU College of Engineering and Computing (CEC)?
I chose FIU CEC mainly because of the strong and supportive culture the students have created for underrepresented students in tech. Access to industry connections, like-minded students, and a supportive community was very important to me, and FIU CEC was my ideal choice.

Why did you choose your major?
Majoring in Health and Human Concerns at FIU and working as a medical assistant for several months, I initially thought I would pursue a career in healthcare. I was also the Vice President for the Association of Pre-Physician Assistants (APPA) organization at FIU. During the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns, I learned coding basics and created the organization’s website to better communicate and share resources with members virtually. I was still new to coding so the website didn’t work out but it was still a fun experience!

I loved learning to code and felt fulfilled creating something that had an immediate and practical impact on others. When I graduated from FIU, I still had a passion for coding but was unsure how to put it to use. Initially, I was nervous about pursuing a career in technology because women can still be underrepresented in the tech industry and face gaps in access and resources. Most of my network was based in healthcare. Luckily, a few friends who studied computer science encouraged me to build on my passion for coding. Just a few months later, I began a second degree at FIU in Computer Science.

I love learning and problem-solving, and Computer Science was the perfect fit for those passions.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to gain valuable experience and skills in software engineering. My long-term goal is to transition into a role as a Product Manager or Technical Program Manager where I can leverage my technical background and problem-solving skills to drive innovative projects and make a significant impact. I am passionate about bridging the gap between technology and user needs, and I look forward to contributing.

What clubs, student organizations or extracurricular activities do you recommend or are you part of? Internships?
I am currently active in Women in Computer Science  at FIU and Rewriting the Code. If you’re looking for an amazing and vibrant community, I strongly recommend joining these organizations.

Rewriting the Code is a non-profit organization that empowers women and non-binary individuals in tech with mentorship, resources, and a supportive network. Some of the benefits of being a member are interview preparation, interest from partnered sponsors, scholarships, and conferences.

CodePath is also another excellent community that enables underrepresented college computing students. I joined for their technical interview preparation course.

Both organizations have helped me tremendously during my internship search and now I can happily say I am a Software Engineer Intern at Bank of America.

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve experienced as a computer science student (so far)?
I would say the most challenging experience I’ve had would be going back to school to learn a completely different subject with no experience and network in the field. When I began my second Bachelor’s degree, I was unaware of the many resources and opportunities available to help students. I wish I had known about the industry-led resources that provide opportunities for growth, such as leadership or technical skills-building summits, internship programs for freshmen and sophomores, and mentorship opportunities that can help students learn and improve their resumes.

This lack of initial guidance made the transition challenging, but it also motivated me to share these valuable resources with others. Now, through my involvement with Women in Computer Science at FIU, I make it a priority to inform and support other students, ensuring they have access to the opportunities that can help them succeed in their tech careers.

What has been the most rewarding thing you’ve experienced as a computer science student (so far)?
The most rewarding thing I have experienced as a Computer Science student so far would be seeing the impact of my work and helping others along the way. One of the highlights has been my involvement with Women in Computer Science at FIU, where I’ve had the opportunity to mentor and guide fellow students. Sharing resources, organizing events, and creating a supportive community has been incredibly fulfilling.

Additionally, gaining new technical skills and applying them to projects has given me a strong sense of accomplishment. Knowing that I am contributing to a more inclusive tech environment and helping others navigate their journeys in computer science has been immensely fulfilling.

Any advice to prospective students thinking of majoring in computer science?
I would say, DO IT! If you’re thinking of majoring in Computer Science, go ahead and take the plunge. Embrace every opportunity that comes your way and don’t be afraid to apply for internships, scholarships, and programs. Adopt a mindset of curiosity and a willingness to learn as these traits will take you far.

Remember that it’s okay to start with little or no experience—what matters most is your determination and passion for learning. Seek out resources and connect with supportive communities. Your journey in Computer Science can be incredibly rewarding if you stay open, proactive, and persistent.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a student?
Your network is your net worth.

As a very shy and introverted person, I never thought in a million years that I would be making time to always network. However, I’ve realized that stepping out of my comfort zone and connecting with others has been incredibly valuable. Building strong, genuine relationships can open doors to opportunities, provide support, and help you grow both personally and professionally.

Embrace every chance to connect with others, and always approach new situations with a positive and proactive attitude.

If you could have lunch/dinner with a famous computer science pioneer, who would it be? Why?
OMG, it would be Grace Hopper! I’ve seen her interviews, and she is such a witty and inspiring person. Her innovative thinking and determination to break barriers, especially as a woman in a male-dominated industry, are incredibly motivating. Having the opportunity to learn from her experiences and insights over lunch or dinner would be an absolute dream.

When you’re not being a student, what do you like to do?
When I’m not a student I typically love to spend time with my friends and cats. I love playing video games, painting, kayaking, collecting board games, and exploring restaurants.