Alumni couple credits Seminole State for preparing them for career success

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Written by: Carla Peterson

Anna and Nils Elde graduated with Associate in Science degrees in Computer Programming and Analysis from Seminole State in the summer of 2017. Both had individual educational journeys before attending Seminole State. Anna had obtained a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Central Florida and Nils a bachelor’s in linguistics from the University of Washington. However, Nils and Anna soon realized pursuing a career in computer programming was more suited for their needs, so they both enrolled at Seminole State.

Starting the computer programming degree in Summer 2016, Anna and Nils both felt certain of their goals and after previously entertaining other courses and majors, they knew exactly which track to take – especially with a great career advisor like Arlene Gonzalez, Anna remembers. “I really appreciate all the times I went to my career advisor, Arlene Gonzalez, to discuss which classes I could use to fulfill certain requirements for my degree. She was really patient with all of the questions I had, and she made sure I was on the right track to graduate.”

The couple recalls professors who truly made a difference in their educational journey as well. “I liked William [Bill] Gaught’s Systems Analysis and Design course,” Nils said. “I learned about the way companies have historically developed software and more modern approaches. It gave me confidence when I was looking for jobs afterwards, because I understood the business side of things better. Two examples of things I learned are agile development and scrum, which I have used in every job I’ve had since graduating.” 

Anna remembers her experience with her husband in another course. “Holger Findling was the most memorable professor I had due to his unique sense of humor!” she said. “My husband and I took Java Programming I in person with him. We still joke with each other, “Create a buffer – name it Garfield!”

The Elde family
The Elde family

The permanent impact of their learning experiences at Seminole State is evident, as both Anna and Nils are working in the computer programming industry as software engineers today. “I learned about topics in programming more in-depth in my degree program compared to the average coding boot camp,” Anna said. A big focus in my work has been developing web applications. Les Lusk’s Web Programming I and II taught me so much about the fundamentals of web development that I had no problem jumping into working on a web application after onboarding at my first job out of college. No matter what front-end frameworks and libraries you’re using, if you know the basics, you’ll be able to succeed.”

Nils also credits Seminole State for preparing him for the next step. “The SQL knowledge I gained at SSC has proven invaluable in my career so far,” he said. At my first programming job, I used it quite extensively, and it even opened up some big opportunities for me.”

It’s rare to find couples who attended and graduated from Seminole State together, but Nils and Anna remember driving to Seminole State together every day for classes, listening to music in the car, heading to the library to use their resources, and having their inside jokes back at home. The comfort that Seminole State brings to students was a big reason the couple chose to become Raiders. “I like that it’s [Seminole State] small,” Nils said. “Bigger schools can feel a lot more impersonal. After having been in many classes conducted in large lecture halls at UW, there’s something warm and friendly about a small classroom. I also like that I got one of my favorite baseball hats at Seminole State.” Nils said. Anna echoes Nils’ positive recollections of the College. “I like that it’s so accessible to everyone,” she said. “The tuition and fees are a reasonable investment in furthering your career. I also appreciated that the location was so close to home, so it was very easy to commute there. Seminole State is there for everyone who wants to learn, and I really love that.”

Do Anna and Nils recommend Seminole State College to friends or potential students? Without hesitation. “I would definitely recommend Seminole State,” Anna said. “I feel like Seminole State is more focused on getting students started in a field and teaching them practical skills that they can apply immediately upon graduating compared to a four-year university… I’d also recommend Seminole State for people who were in my situation, looking for a career change after already completing a four-year degree.” Nils echoes his wife’s recommendation based on Seminole State’s affordability. “Not getting into student debt is very important, and so an affordable school is a great choice,” he said.

Once a Raider, always a Raider. Anna and Nils are proof of that, and there’s doubt that they’re Going Far.

About the School of Construction, Design, Engineering and Information Technologies

Seminole State College of Florida’s School of Construction, Design, Engineering and Information Technologies provides a wide range of educational pathways from professional bachelor’s degrees, workforce-ready associate in science programs to short-term technical career certificates in the built environment and emerging technologies. Specialized centers within the school include the Center for English Language Studies and the Center for Adult and Workforce Education where adult learners can improve their English, seek academic foundation skills or in-demand workforce programs.

About Seminole State

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves more than 25,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A full-service education provider, Seminole State has thrived by adapting to and meeting the needs of an ever-changing, vibrant community. Seminole State offers 11 bachelor’s degrees in high-demand, high-growth fields; two-year associate degrees; specialized certificates; continuing professional education; adult education and guaranteed admission via DirectConnect to UCF® to the University of Central Florida for Associate in Arts (A.A.) graduates. By offering flexible, affordable, high-quality educational programs and services, the College continues to help students learn, succeed and GO Far. For more about Seminole State, visit

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