Christopher Lee Egan
Software Engineer - Google
Christopher earned his MA in Sociology from LUC in 2012.
How you have been engaged professionally since your time at Loyola. What organizations have you worked with and in what capacities?
Since my time at Loyola, I've worked at both the national Sierra Club and now at Google, both as a software engineer. At Google in particular, I spend a significant amount of time running and analyzing experiments, first for Google Search and now for Google Maps. I've also been doing advocacy for housing and housing affordability in the San Francisco Bay Area, both in helping to establish new advocacy orgs (such as East Bay Forward) and in working with local politicians and political campaigns on housing issues. Both my housing advocacy and professional work dovetail with the interests I had and developed at Loyola. I entered the program with a focus on urban sociology, which then got nurtured thanks in part to having great access to CURL (particularly some brief time I spent with CURL's research on homelessness). And I graduated with an additional interest in digital/new media, which Dr. Wright's mentorship helped to develop.
How did your time at Loyola prepare you--both professionally and personally--for your eventual career trajectory?
Probably above all else, I can look back at my brief time in the master's program and see, from beginning to end, a clear maturation in my ability to critique and reason. In fact, I'm kind of embarrassed at some of my initial coursework! This maturation is thanks to the mentorship of Loyola's faculty (particularly Drs. Wittner, Langman & Wright), who taught me what it meant to truly engage with subject matter--the difference between getting lost in the weeds versus thinking holistically and systematically. Not only was this valuable at the time when it meant participating in academic scholarship (and engaging in great discussions with my fellow grad students), but professionally this systematic thinking has been invaluable in my work with data that is often ambiguous or unintuitive.
Looking back on it, have you any advice for current or prospective LUC grad students?
LUC's faculty is great. However harried or busy they must certainly have been, during my time they were always accessible and wonderful resources, academically and otherwise. The coursework was important of course, but I think going in I underestimated just how simultaneously vital and fantastic the faculty would be. My advice is pretty simple: make sure to invest in this part of your education!