October 04, 2018

Computer Science alum Biniam Lemma knows what it’s like to push himself, work hard, and aim high.  “I emigrated to the U.S. from Ethiopia a year and a half before beginning at Century College,” remembers Biniam. “I was a first-generation college student, and it was difficult starting.” 

He chose Century College after visiting during an open house and talking with Computer Science and Engineering faculty. ”It was exactly what I was looking for. Century College was both affordable and offered a smooth transfer program,” he notes. “And Century’s atmosphere is warm and welcoming.  Faculty and staff easily understand what college life is like for first-generation students, and they make it easy to adapt to the college environment.”

In addition, Biniam took advantage of the many resources available to him, and graduated in 2017 with honors and high distinction.  He was also on the Dean’s List his last three semesters at Century College.  ”I believe those two years at Century College tremendously enhanced my personal, academic and professional skills,” Biniam says. “I was part of several student groups, and my involvement helped sharpen my leadership skills. I was a Student Ambassador, worked as a tutor for math and computer science, served Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society by working on public relations and marketing for that organization, participated in North Star STEM Alliance, and I was part of the TRIO/SSS advisory board.”

While at Century College, Biniam was recognized for his hard work.  He was selected to be on the 2017 PTK All-Minnesota Academic Team, and was also selected as an Outstanding Student in Computer Science and an Outstanding Student Ambassador. “Those awards motivated me to work hard and push outside of my boundaries to get to the next level. I was deeply honored.” Biniam says. “All the good things that happened to me were a reflection of the help I received from staff and faculty members.”

Biniam worked closely with Century College’s Counseling and Advising staff, and transferred to the University of Minnesota, where he will graduate with a B.S. in Computer Science in May 2019.  During the summer of 2018, he went to California and interned with VISA with their Business Solutions Team, where he worked on new payment platforms.  He plans to get his Masters and work as a software engineer.  

“I love Century College,” Biniam says, “If it were a four-year college, I would stay here.”

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