‘App’lying her talents to the mobile marketplace

May 21, 2012

Elise Murray (right), CIS’12, received her award at the Cooperative Education Award ceremony last month from co-op coordinator Melissa Peikin (right).

Working both as an Android and iOS devel­oper on co-op gave Elise Murray, CIS’12, more than just the tech­nical know-how to say, “There’s an app for that.” Now she can say, “I have a job doing that.”

Murray, who grad­u­ated in May as a com­bined major in com­puter sci­ence and busi­ness with a con­cen­tra­tion in entre­pre­neur­ship, spent two summer co-ops working for Boston-based mobile com­merce com­pany Where, Inc., per­forming upgrades to the company’s smart­phone apps and fixing bugs.

The expe­ri­ence helped her land a full-time job with PayPal — a busi­ness unit of Ebay, the ecom­merce giant that acquired Where, Inc., last year. Murray will become an offi­cial member of PayPal’s Android devel­oper team this week.

“It was incred­ible to work in such a growing industry before I’d even grad­u­ated,” said Murray, who worked part time this spring to help develop PayPay Here, which allows mer­chants to use smart­phones to take pay­ments from customers.

All her life, Murray has been fas­ci­nated with elec­tronics and eager to get her hands on the latest gad­gets. “I remember hearing about the first iPod being released, and knowing I had to have it,” she admitted.

At North­eastern, this pas­sion fueled Murray’s desire to pursue her co-op expe­ri­ences, which she credits with pro­viding her the flex­i­bility to embrace new chal­lenges and tackle the ever-evolving pro­gram­ming world early in her career.

She even released two smart­phone apps as a stu­dent — Airhorn­Plus, which allows users to unleash the blis­tering sound of an air horn at a moment’s notice, and His­tori­cise, which acts as a dig­ital memory book for users to record their most sig­nif­i­cant life­time moments.

This spring, Murray was hon­ored at the Coop­er­a­tive Edu­ca­tion Awards cer­e­mony and was named one of Northeastern’s Most Influ­en­tial Seniors.

Melissa Peikin, Murray’s co-op coor­di­nator, said that while Murray didn’t have a com­puter sci­ence back­ground when she came to North­eastern, her enthu­siasm to fear­lessly dive into co-op and absorb as much knowl­edge as pos­sible pro­pelled her to success.

“I think Elise defines what the co-op pro­gram can actu­ally do for a stu­dent,” Peikin said. “Every­thing was new for her freshman year. She wasn’t quite sure where she saw her­self in this field, but co-op changed that for her. That’s where she got a chance to shine.”

Photo by Craig Bailey