Bertrand Saint-Preux earned an associate degree from a community college in Florida, but felt like he could not get

to where he wanted without a degree in computer science. He would find what he needed at Wentworth, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2018 and now working as a software engineer at Snapchat.

Saint-Preux says that the co-op program and Accelerate, Wentworth Innovation + Entrepreneurship Center drew him to the university from the Sunshine State. In his first year, he fully integrated himself in Accelerate, crafting an idea for a jukebox app and finding a glimpse into his future engineering career.

As a Haitian American in a part of America unfamiliar to him, Saint-Preux valued finding a community. He joined the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and eventually became president of the organization. Saint-Preux made it a point to ensure that everyone in NSBE had the types of opportunities to be involved that he had, coordinating events for the Urban Dictionary Spelling Bee and the group’s annual fashion show. In his last semester, he went to a high school to speak to students about STEM. He was also involved in Leading for Change, a project to help increase the retention rates of underrepresented students.

When asked about the importance of participating in clubs and organizations during college, Saint-Preux explained that although the social aspect is helpful to build a network, he did it to give back to his community. “One of my passions is helping other Black and Hispanic people, people who look like me, get to better places,” he says. “Helping the Black engineers I encounter grow and making sure they have the best career path—I think that’s super important.”

Saint-Preux connected to Snapchat while serving as a mentor at a tech trek, or camp, designed to help Black and Hispanic engineers emerge themselves in tech. He says that he never would have had the opportunity had it not been coordinated through NSBE. And he still works on the design for his jukebox app, utilizing techniques he’s learning from working at Snapchat.

“College is what you make it,” he says. “If you choose to make the best out of your college experience, then you can achieve what you want.”

—Sarah Sherard