Three-Year Option Success Stories

The Houghton journey for John Khalaf ’18 actually began nearly 6,000 miles away, in his home city of Cairo, Egypt. There he attended Tipas Academy, earning an associate degree in electrical engineering and completed some general education courses. His preparation served him well upon coming to Houghton, where he finished his liberal arts requirements by his third semester – leaving more time for major-specific courses.

During his time at Houghton, John took advantage of the Mayterm module by taking Introduction to Christianity, as well as earned credits for summer internship work. His math and data science minors complemented his computer science major. Additionally, John worked for technology services on campus and participated in the Global Christian Fellowship, Koininia, and MercySeat ministries.

After graduation, John interned with Land O’Lakes, where he used artificial intelligence tools to suggest improvements to the company’s manufacturing facility. He is now an information technology Talent Acceleration Program (TAP) associate at the company, learning multiple aspects of IT management. He notes that he “really fell in love with data science and business analytics” while in his computer science program, and is able to use his electrical engineering background to enhance his skills. John plans to continue a career in business analytics and help companies and leaders make strategic, informed business decisions.

By the end of her second year, Emily Vandenbosch ’18 was just over two semesters away from her required graduation credits, and most of her major classes had been completed. Thanks to high marks on AP exams and a credited vocational program at her high school, she entered Houghton with more than 22 elective and liberal arts credits – and was on the path for early completion.

While at Houghton, Emily participated in the London Honors program and two Mayterm courses: Ornithology and Art in Europe. “Despite having a compact schedule, Houghton has afforded me the opportunity to travel every year since I arrived,” she notes. Additionally, Emily was a resident assistant in Gillette Hall, photo editor for the Houghton Star, planned campus events such as Take Back the Night, and participated in several internships both on and off campus.

As of August 2018, Emily earned a degree in communication with a media arts and visual communication concentration. She moved to Montana to intern with the World Wildlife Fund as a documentary photographer and media/communication intern, and hopes to continue working in the documentary field and teach others about art and interpersonal communication.