LOVING THE LOCAL FLAVOR
with Andy Cullen

STORY JAKE FREDERICKS | IMAGE HANNAH ZIEGELER

NAME
Andy Cullen

EDUCATION
Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC)
Web Design and Development (A.A.S.) ’17

Software Development (A.A.S.) ’17

HOMETOWN
Bellville, Michigan

EMPLOYMENT
Junior Software Development Engineer, National Flavors

ON THE JOB
My job at National Flavors spans both the development and IT worlds, so my responsibilities consist of everything from fixing surprise bugs in our homemade business software, constructing new capabilities in our data software, and building a new online customer portal. My previous experience as a lab assistant helped me fit into the company culture quite well, but the main thing that helps me thrive in this position is the wide range of experiences I have gained from my instructors at KVCC.

 

EXPERIENCE IS KEY
I have been with the company since the end of April 2017 when I started as an intern. I was hired as a full-time associate within just a few months. It’s a beautiful thing that I found a great job before I graduated. I give a lot of credit to the software development program at KVCC. Completing an internship was a graduation requirement, and KVCC has excellent internship coordinators with active local company partnerships. My advice would be never to pass up an internship opportunity! It’s the easiest way to get a sneak-peek into an industry and fast-track your career.

ON THE HORIZON

My department has a weekly training hour for continuing professional growth. We learn and discuss newly emerging skills in the fields of IT and software development. But more importantly, National Flavors has offered to pay my tuition to Western Michigan University should I decide to pursue a further degree in my field. I definitely hope to take advantage of that!

A TASTE OF SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN
After work, I spend time with my wife and friends. We compete in team trivia and solve the puzzles in the escape rooms at Escapology in Portage. We also have a longstanding goal of visiting every restaurant in the city.

Southwest Michigan has everything we could want. It’s great to know that a short drive away, we can explore big city or a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan. We love to fossil-hunt on massive stretches of sand, kayak down a river, hike through the forest or dunes, and better yet, enjoy the fruits of local wineries and breweries.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
(269) LIST
(269) THOUGHTS
LIFE LIST
TWITTER FEED