Graduate Student Spotlight | Mario Mora
"I chose Hood College because this program completes the skills set I have acquired over the years by enabling me to explore and reinforce methodologies that I can use to develop greater quality on the work I do."
Mario Mora, M.S. Information Technology
- Information Technology (M.S.)
- Computer Science (M.S.)
- Cybersecurity (M.S., C)
- Management Information Systems (M.S.)
- Computer Science & Information Technology
Mario Mora is a current international graduate student in Hood College's Master of Science program in Information Technology. Mario is expected to graduate in 2022. Outside of his studies, Mario has held many roles in the IT field, including Senior Support Engineer, Problem Manager, Incident Manager, Team Manager and Solutions Architect.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Escazú, San José, Costa Rica. I'm the youngest of three brothers. Since I was a toddler, I loved to play with computer components and other electronic devices. I attended both public school and public college, as that was the only option because my parents couldn't afford to pay for private education. During that time in Costa Rica, few people knew English and you had to pay a lot of money to study. However, since I was exposed from my early childhood to computers and different peripherals that one of my brothers had, I managed to start learning the English language. With the aid of some video games (back then there was no audio, just a lot of reading), I managed to polish vocabulary that helped me later on to find a job as a call center agent.
I studied to obtain my bachelor's degree at a private university and was able to pay for my studies. I had to work and study at the same time for 10 years. It was hard—I would wake up at 5am to go to work and return at 10pm to do homework, but eventually it got completed.
I can certainly say this time in my life molded me as a professional and as a man. It helped me grow to understand that the most valuable things in life are hard to get. While I was completing my degree, I was also climbing in my career. I had been Senior Support Engineer, Problem Manager, Incident Manager, Team Manager, Solutions Architect and more.
Today, I am happily married and we are expecting our first child by February. I'm excited to be at this new stage of life. I am also grateful for the job I now have that allows me to study at Hood College.
Why did you choose Hood College and this program?
I chose it because this program completes the skills set I have acquired over the years by enabling me to explore and reinforce methodologies that I can use to develop greater quality on the work I do. Also, the specialization on security will open me up to the next branch in my career.
How has your experience been with your program online from Costa Rica?
The experience has been awesome! Even though I'm not onsite, I feel like I'm right there at Hood College due to the warm welcome I received. Also, each professor I have worked with has been amazingly helpful and understanding, while also knowledgeable.
How do you think this degree will help you in your career and life?
Once I get this degree, it will open the possibility for me to keep learning security and boost my experience so that I'll be able to start an academy to help my local community develop technical skills that are backed up by a recognized institution in the United States.
Any other information/fun facts that you would like to add?
The first computer I had was a "386" on which I played Might and Magic, the Eye of the Beholder and King Quest 3. The first console I owned was the Atari 2600. I also learned English on my own, and I'm convinced that anyone can learn anything with enough time and dedication. I'm also a photographer, although it has been a while since I went out to take pictures.