When Brian Humphrey ’13 transferred to SUNY Brockport for his junior year, he found his place on the soccer field and within the Department of Computing Sciences. Now a Solution Lead at Paychex, he looks back fondly on his time at the College, where he helped the Golden Eagles reach the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons and excelled in the classroom.
What was your experience like as a student-athlete studying computer science?
I really enjoyed my time at Brockport as a student-athlete. Transferring in from another college, playing a sport made it easy for me to meet people. Being an athlete in a challenging program also helped me focus on my school work. Traveling for soccer granted me extra time to dedicate to school work that I would not normally have taken advantage of.
What were some of the highlights of both aspects of your student experience?
Presenting some of my project work to other students and faculty, being recognized as a scholar athlete, making back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament, and meeting my wife at Brockport!
How did you land a position at Paychex?
I started working as an electrician in a family company while I was going to school at Brockport. While at Brockport, I took the initiative to work on some large software development projects – either on my own, or as part of a team with some of my classmates. One of these projects involved the development of a mobile app that my family company’s electricians could use to submit their work reports without having to travel back to the home office. Such projects helped me to strengthen my resume. When I was nearing graduation, faculty members were extremely helpful in getting me an interview at Paychex. They were able to connect me with a recruiter. I went through two interviews and a couple of tests for a position I was interested in, and I was offered the job.
What is your role there?
Currently, my title is Solution Lead of one of our External API Teams. I work to design and then instruct how to implement software integrations between Paychex and other companies.
What are some of the most interesting things you’ve had the opportunity to do in your role?
I have been lucky enough to travel for work. As part of work, I have been skiing in the Utah Rocky Mountains and dune bashing and boarding in the Dubai desert, saw the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa), and experienced incredible food and wildlife in India.
What is your advice for student-athletes who are in a challenging academic program?
Use it as a tool to help with your schooling. Being an athlete takes a lot of time, but it can also free up time that would normally be spent elsewhere. Enjoy it! Being a student-athlete gives you the opportunity to experience a lot and participate in cocurricular activities.
Do you still play soccer? What else do you do for fun?
I do! I still play a couple nights a week in local (Rochester) leagues and the occasional regional tournament. I like to travel, and I own an investment property that is a large project I enjoy working on.
What’s next for you in your life and career?
Great question; who knows? I just bought a house, so I will be looking to start a family soon. As for my career, I hope to continue to progress as a software developer.