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Anna Helton
July 5, 2022

A Bright Math Student + A Thoughtful Mentor = A Promising Career

As a senior software engineer for the consulting company Ingenium Plus, Anna Helton ’16 tackles problems for clients like Papa John’s and Compass Group USA. Once she helps a client understand their challenges, she designs and builds applications to support their needs. It is a career where she is constantly challenged to apply creative problem-solving.

“I work with our team to design and implement solutions through either stand-alone applications, build upon existing applications or integrate multiple systems in such a way to break down ‘silos’ between different sections of a company,” she explains. “Since we try to find the best solution, I frequently am learning new languages and/or frameworks to best solve the business needs.”

Helton says majoring in math at Berry allowed her to discover an exciting career path: “Mathematics allowed me to explore different STEM tracks while I decided what my future career would be.”

She adds that faculty support made all the difference in her professional development. Early in her college career, Nadeem Hamid, chair of the department of mathematics and computer science, noticed her aptitude for software development. At the time, Helton thought it was too difficult, but Hamid brushed off her concerns and challenged her to take further courses.

“She demonstrated strong analytical skills and the patience and meticulous attention to detail that is required of software development and programming,” Hamid comments. “I witnessed her strong problem-solving skills, in particular, how she would approach problems from various angles in order to solve them.”

Helton says Hamid took an interest throughout her time at Berry: “Dr. Hamid encouraged me to keep growing by inviting me to a computer science competition and asking me to be a teaching assistant. In the end, it was also Dr. Hamid who introduced me to my current boss and mentor. I am forever grateful for the role Dr. Hamid has played in both my college experience and professional career.”

Helton not only touts Berry’s small class sizes and mentoring but also explains how her courses prepared her for her current role. “I was greatly challenged by the classes required for the math major. Not only did I learn to be comfortable not knowing an answer, but I also discovered tools and methods to find the answer. I became quite acquainted with failure, although my professors helped instill determination to push through failure. The computer science classes in my math major encouraged me to be open to guidance from those more experienced and willing to guide those less experienced.”

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