Noah Levin's mother was surprised to hear from her son at 10:30 a.m. The high schooler had barely begun his prospective visit at Carnegie Mellon University.
"Mom," he said simply, "I want to go here."
Five years later, Levin (HS'10, CS'11) is a brand new interaction designer for Google's 'User Experience' team.
"There's a lot of demand," explained Levin. "I'm working on several projects at a time and get new requests almost every week."
He added, "I primarily work on the mobile search team, helping fulfill Google's mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. "
"People often describe Google as a more data-driven, engineering company, but there's also a lot of design personality and culture," explained Levin, who also said he's surrounded by fellow CMU alums at the search giant.
Levin's mother, Karen (E'76), admits to being thrilled to have Noah attend her alma mater. She knew CMU would allow him to continue exploring his diverse interests.
"I wanted computers and design, as well as an excellent theater program," said Levin. "CMU definitely had that rare combination."
Levin was drawn to Information Systems (IS) and then to the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII), earning a double major and an HCII master's degree.
"With IS, you get to step outside of programming and reach many different disciplines," he explained. "HCI is about solving problems for people — human-centered design. It was an awesome fit."
Levin also participated in the Concert Choir, the Club Crew team, and Scotch'n'Soda Theatre, and became heavily involved with his fraternity, SAE, where his leadership was recently recognized with national awards.
Leading his chapter through an impressive transformation, he was honored with the national True Gentleman of the Year award from SAE and the Undergraduate Award of Distinction from the North American Inter-fraternity Conference.
He credits much to his CMU experience.
"The culture really allows people interested in doing a lot of things to thrive," said Levin. "CMU's energy and drive just embraced me. Being able to go out, jump around and work on a variety of things translated so clearly to the working world."
His words for current students?
"Interacting with people is so important when working in technology. Join things. Joining groups with people you wouldn't ordinarily meet and doing something exciting with them is amazing."