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Christopher Forehand

My journey to pursue a Master of Science degree in Computer Science began at Iona College in 2011 and commenced in the spring of 2014. Prior to enrolling in the program, I had been laid off from my position in corporate hotel real estate. I thought about pursuing an MBA, however, I felt that I wanted to challenge myself and step out of the box. In December 2012, prior to graduating from the program, I was hired as a Software Engineer for a software company named Radio Computing Services (RCS), which was a subsidiary of iHeartMedia, formerly known as Clear Channel Communications. In this role I had the opportunity to work at a software-first organization with some really talented engineers and technology leaders. This experience coupled with the Computer Science program at Iona College enabled me to excel as a software engineer and reach goals I never imagined. Well, I imagined them, but did not know how quickly they would be realized.  

After almost two years of working in an organization that was at the cutting edge of software development, I was able to harness what I had learned and implement new solutions in another organization that was in the labels, packaging and distribution industry. It was then that I first experienced and applied my industry agnostic transferable skill set. A solid foundation from the Iona College Computer Science Department and a great first gig coming out of graduate school enabled this smooth, natural transition.  

Today, I am software engineer at American Express working on the re-platform and rewrite of the americanexpress.com global homepage application. In this role, I primarily focus on mobile/web development on the MEAN Technology stack, and have personally implemented internal process improvement applications that reduce operating costs for the organization.
The Computer Science program at Iona College provided me with a skillset that I can develop over time at my own pace. I feel that I have much more control over my career, a sense of job security and industry flexibility and lastly, a work experience that steadily presents new challenges and ideologies, encouraging me to continuously develop and stay at the forefront of industry trends and best practices.