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Kyle Johnson, Spring 2022

Where are they now?

What have you been up to since graduating UW?

Kyle started his PhD journey at the University of Washington for Computer Science and Engineering with this upcoming year being his fifth year. He is still focusing on a similar type of research he did in his undergrad; low power robotics. He has taken it a step further by making insect scale robots and has a focus of “leveraging certain structural material properties.”

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

After graduating, Kyle hopes to become a professor at a university while working on his entrepreneurial interest and having technology that he’s working on pushed into a tech startup. Additionally, he aims to create a non-profit that can have monetary flow coming from the previously mentioned careers. Another alternative includes working in an industry, in research development, or focusing on a tech startup as a CEO or CTO.

What is something you learned during college that you still use?

Time management. Specifically focusing on what advice to take from professors and deciphering what will be pertinent to yourself is best. Kyle says that listening to all recommendations on how to study or what to read may not always be beneficial and can be time consuming.

Biggest piece of advice for current students?

Kyle recommends “getting involved in things that interest you and building your network.” As an undergrad, he didn’t quite grasp how opportunities may have presented themselves after expanding his networking. “Those in power that you took a chance and got to know through office hours, an introduction or sharing academic or career goals may remember you and consider you for an opportunity that may come across their desk.” Kyle says it pays off to hedge your bets and put your desires out there so that if you happen to come across someone who has a connection to an opportunity, you’re in their network to receive it.

How did LSAMP contribute to helping you achieve your goals?

Describe some highlights from your LSAMP experience.

The experience helped Kyle build his network with those in the College of Engineering and UW LSAMP. He built personal relationships with staff and directors that allowed him to know of great opportunities to apply for. An an ambassador, he learned how to speak his mind while thinking about what future ambassadors want to get out of the program. He was able to gain skills that helped when creating his own organization.

What were some of the challenges you faced, in the classroom/student groups/organizations? What got you through it?

Kyle was challenged by understanding why certain things were beneficial to him. He owes being desperate to what got him through it. He “cast his net wide” and had low expectations on the rewards. Kyle was surprised at what he received in return that included scholarships, feedback, resources, information about programs, and other opportunities.