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Seattle University

Iliana Sach

With fully funded tuition from the tech company where she worked, Iliana Sach could have earned her master’s degree at any number of universities. It was Seattle University’s emphasis on providing a practical, realistic education that won her over.

With a satellite classroom conveniently close to her home and flexible class schedules that worked with her fulltime job, SU provided a real world education in every sense of the word.

Her program offered hands-on, work-oriented preparation—not just theory. In her estimation, 80% of the skills she learned were applicable to real world scenarios. She attributes this emphasis on working skills to the program’s professors. Often simultaneously employed as software engineers at influential Seattle companies, they have up-to-the-minute access to the trends and resources shaping the tech industry.

Like all SU software engineering graduate students, Iliana had the opportunity to put her knowledge to work during her capstone project—SU’s multi-quarter student project that solves software engineering problems for top companies. She worked with a group of students to develop a website that allowed REI employees to rent the store’s gear. Iliana not only applied the skills she learned to a professional scenario, she discovered new ones, giving her the confidence to seek a more influential role in the workplace.

She wasn’t the only one who noticed her aptitude during the class and final project. The capstone project gives employers a glimpse at potential candidates and students a look at who among their peers might make great coworkers. When Iliana’s company left the Seattle area, she found her current job as a software development manager at Amazon through the recommendation of one of her classmates.

Iliana was pleased to find that a graduate education from Seattle University is much more than theory, research and a line on a résumé. This is where education meets real life—allowing students to work full-time while going to school, learn the real tools they’ll be using in their work, and meet the peers they might one day call colleagues.