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First-Year Student Stories

Goodnight Spotlight: Xavier Jones

As a junior from the local area of Raleigh, North Carolina, Xavier Jones ’25, embarks on an exciting journey majoring in Computer Science. His academic pursuits are complemented by a passion for app development, with interests in the realms of quantum computing and AI hinting at a promising future. Outside the classroom, Xavier immerses himself in video games, culinary delights, and social connections.

Tell us about yourself!

I’m a junior majoring in Computer Science! I’ve mostly had experience with app development, but I’ve dabbled with quantum computing and AI as well, so it’ll be interesting to see where I’ll settle when I graduate! If I’m not catching up on homework, I’m probably playing video games, eating, or hanging out with friends.

My current obsession in video games is Cyberpunk 2077, and I’ve always loved Skyrim, the Witcher 3, and The Sims (3*). I’m a big SZA fan though Beyonce, Rosalia and Bad Bunny are close behind. My music taste is pretty strange. Most days, I’ll be in the mood for R&B, others I’ll be in the mood for Pop, Reggaeton, Banda or Brazilian Funk. Suffice to say, any playlists Apple Music generates for me are all over the place. How can you go from Christian Nodal to Megan Thee Stallion, Apple Music??

What is your major and why did you decide to pursue it?

I participated in the NC Math, Science and Education Network’s pre-college program through NC State from the sixth grade till the twelfth, and I got to touch coding with Python over those years. I really enjoyed figuring out how to write whatever I needed to make the code work as intended. As nerdy as it sounds, I found the problem-solving and debugging process to be super fun. So ever since the sixth grade, I’ve been pretty sold on Computer Science. That interest only solidified over time as I took programming classes at my high school and started working on my own projects.

How has the goodnight scholars program impacted your experience?

The community has always been my favorite part of the GSP! I’ve met so many amazing people through the time I’ve been here. Every year, we grow and evolve and the community just gets better and better. I used to be anxious towards the end of the school year when we had to say goodbye to all of the graduating scholars, but I’ve learned that the connections I’ve made through the GSP are strong enough to last far past graduation. Plus, the Goodnight staff has helped me through some of my toughest semesters. It’s nice to have so many people rooting for you and pushing you to become your best self.

Do you have any extracurriculars you would like to discuss?

I’m the Android team lead for the app development club. We’re working on an app to standardize the process of managing and being a part of student clubs on campus. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it, as I feel like it’s really bright me out of my shell and taught me a lot about leadership and management. Building an app of that size and building up a team has been an interesting challenge, but I’m really excited to see where it goes.

I’ve also come to absolutely adore WMEP ( the Women and Minorities in Engineering Program). WMEP introduced me to being a student at NCSU with a summer bridge camp that introduced me to so many other minorities in engineering. I’ve met many of my best friends through WMEP, and the resources they offered got me through the hellish Engineering CODA requirements in my first year.

Lastly, I want to mention the (MLT) Management Leadership for Tomorrow program. It’s a 2 year program for sophomores that provides a lot of career prep workshops/coaching and gives you direct access to a lot of the big tech companies. Without them, I would have had much more difficulty scoring my upcoming internship with Adobe! They’ve given me so many resources for acing technical interviews, making the perfect resume, and standing out in face to face interviews.

What are your plans after graduating?

After graduating, I plan on moving to California. With me being gay AND a computer science major, it’s basically my destiny to queen out and move west. I went on the Mayventure: NorCal trip with the GSP at the end of my freshman year, and I absolutely loved seeing San Francisco. It’s such a larger city than what I’ve always known, but it’s not as cold and uninviting to me as I feel New York City is, nor as hot and pretentious as Los Angeles seems to be. I also got to go again individually for a career fair through MLT and I loved it just as much as I did the last time I’d been.

With my computer science degree, I hope to work as a software engineer for a few years before transitioning to engineering management. I love coding, but I worry that making it my sole job for so long will begin to sour my relationship with it. Plus, I’ve got a lot of experience with managing teams of developers through my time leading the Android team for the App Development Club here at NC State, and I really enjoy it, and working more directly with people. I also want to travel more once I’m working full time. Brazil, Greece and Thailand are at the top of my list.

What ‘s the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the last 3 years?

The biggest lesson that I’ve learned is that gay people really can do anything. I randomly started working out with another Goodnight, Juan, who’s like a powerlifter and did his full routine at 7am daily. I was sore for that entire first month, though I eventually got used to it.

For the Northern California trip, we got to hike up to Nevada Falls in Yosemite. When I heard that it was an 8 mile hike, I thought that sounded super approachable. I thought “I’m built different, that’s just like walking from Bragaw to the Goodnight Lounge“(I had no hiking experience). Our tour guide told us we might get wet, so I decided to wear my Doc Martens boots so my shoes wouldn’t get soggy. So here I am, hiking up this mountain in Doc Martens. The first hour wasn’t bad. But then many of the hiking sections became stones that we needed to climb up like large stairs for like 4 miles straight. Each one of those sections was lowkey hard to complete, but each time I just kept thinking that we were almost done so it would be fine. I said that to myself like 100 times as the hike went on. Though, I made it to the top regardless, and served a look while doing it. I’ve

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