Coded for success

Amanuel Hailemariam of Kansas City is ready to pursue his goal of becoming a software engineer.

Amanuel Hailemariam

May 6, 2024
Contact: Courtney Perrett, 573-882-6217,

Before coming to the University of Missouri, Amanuel Hailemariam had no experience with coding or software development. Now, he’s graduating with a bachelor’s in information technology (IT) and a resume packed with real-world programming experience.

“I took an introduction to coding class my freshman year, and I loved it,” he said. “Coding is fascinating. My favorite class was InfoTech 2040 with Kristofferson Culmer. It was a C# development course, and it was magical. That’s when I learned all of the possibilities you can do with coding and development.”

And at Mizzou, Hailemariam learned the possibilities are endless. In the College of Engineering, he joined a cybersecurity club and MU Robotics, where he programmed robots. He’s served as a Peer Learning Assistant (PLA) for the IT program. He worked as a backend developer for a capstone class, creating a database application for Mizzou’s food pantry. And he just wrapped up a nine-month interdisciplinary research project studying how next-generation television broadcasting can better connect rural residents to health care.

Read on for a Q&A with Hailemariam about his Mizzou experience.

Why did you choose Mizzou? [h6 header]

I chose Mizzou because I’m from Kansas City, and it’s close, but I also did a tour with a few of my friends, and it seemed like the perfect fit with all of the options offered and where I want to go in my life.

How did you take advantage of hands-on learning opportunities on campus? [h6 header]

I was a PLA and a mentor for underclassmen. Working as a PLA helped me stay up to date with new information, and by helping others, I was able to learn, too. I got involved in the broadcast project when Professor Jim Flink from the Missouri School of Journalism reached out wanting help with an ATSC 3.0 project. ATSC 3.0 is new in broadcasting and basically works like internet. Our project was to apply it to rural health care where there’s limited or no Wi-Fi connection. The benefit is people can receive up-to-date health information using a television. We recently presented our work at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas. I was also the backend developer for an IT capstone team that developed a new application for Tiger Pantry to track food inventory. They were using a manual system, so hopefully this will make their lives easier.

What was your favorite thing about campus? [h6 header]

It’s hard to choose! The environment. The community. How everybody’s here to learn. It’s easy to meet people and make friends. The opportunities and the way you can connect with people are my favorite things about campus.

What’s next for you? [h6 header]

I’m still in the process of talking to people, but I know where I want to go and where I want to end up, and that’s as a software engineer. And I’m confident I’ll get there because Mizzou Engineering has prepared me well.

What would you tell someone who’s interested in coming to Mizzou?

I think they should definitely come to Mizzou. There are so many opportunities available, and it’s a great environment. The campus is beautiful, and you can learn a lot about yourself and make great connections.

Story written by Janese Heavin

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