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Jackson Vogt ’23
Growing up in the suburbs of Rochester, N.Y., Jackson Vogt ’23 was undecided between the University of Rochester and Hamilton College. “I had a lot of friends going to (U. of R.), but it seemed a bit too close to home,” he said.

Now, four years, two majors, and an Amazon internship later, Vogt has accepted a full-time position at Amazon Web Services (AWS) as part of its web design and development team. “At Amazon, they have an amazing internship program. Anyone interested in going through a computer science software internship should consider Amazon,” Vogt said.

Jackson Vogt 23

Majors: Computer science, Mathematics
Hometown:  Penfield, N.Y.
High school: Penfield High School

 

During his sophomore spring, Vogt took several computer science courses and became interested in algorithms. “I took CS 101, and although I had no computer science background, I really enjoyed that class. I continued taking CS courses and found them intellectually engaging,” he said. 

Vogt also decided to take linear algebra despite having minimal experience in the concentration. Thanks to the professors and course content, this math class would be his first of many to follow. “I quickly fell in love with the course structure and the course material. The passion that the faculty have here for the subject is unparalleled,” he said. Open office hours in the Christian Johnson Building further grew his passion for math. “You go in between 2:30 and 6 p.m., and see people come in to do work on the blackboard, students helping each other along the way. This really drew me in,” he said.

“I think it was my communication skills, the fact that I was able to have a conversation that really got me over the finish line.”

Following a year marked by COVID-19 restrictions, Vogt spent his junior year looking for summer internships. “I had a friend on the soccer team who recommended I apply to big tech companies because they have enormous amounts of interest in hiring interns like me, with little coding experience,” Vogt said.

Hamilton’s Open Curriculum

Hamilton is one of the few U.S. colleges with an open curriculum, which means you’ll have the freedom to choose courses that reflect your interests, while still fulfilling the faculty’s expectation that you study broadly across the liberal arts.

Throughout the search process he was grateful for Hamilton’s emphasis on oral communication. “Many candidates were very proficient at coding, but I think it was my communication skills — the fact that I was able to have a conversation — that really got me over the finish line,” said Vogt, who eventually accepted an intern position at AWS from June to August 2022. 

Now, having graduated with a double concentration in math and computer science, Vogt has returned to Boston where in mid-July he’ll join Amazon as a full-time engineer. Looking back, he is thankful for his experiences: “The open curriculum has allowed me to find my passion. I’ve also had the opportunity to explore my other interests; I have played three seasons on the men’s soccer team and even captained this past fall. I’m sure many freshmen can say, ‘Hey, even though I don't know what I want to do with my life, look at Jackson. He didn’t know either, and now he’s on the path to success!”

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