Computers have always been Donovan McCray’s passion, so it is no surprise that he’s heading to California in October to begin his career with Apple.
The 2015 IMPACT Early College High School graduate, who also attended Stephen F. Austin Elementary and Gentry Junior School, knew what he wanted to do when he entered IMPACT Early College High School as a freshman.
“I told my counselor I wanted to take computer science-focused classes,” McCray said. “I took all the computer classes I could at Lee College. I created an iOS App in Swift that allowed users to calculate tips, and it was released in the Apple Store. That was my way of testing things I’d learned and seeing them running on a device.”
After graduating from IMPACT, also receiving his associate degree from Lee College, McCray headed to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue his electrical and computer engineering degree, which he will complete in May. He had no trouble getting a part time job.
“When I first went into the Apple Store in Austin, I started helping another customer. Someone in management noticed and offered me a job,” McCray said.
After two years at the Apple Store, McCray took a part time job on the UT campus.
Last summer, through an internship he learned about at a job fair at the school, he went to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino and to Santa Clara for three months. Obviously, he made an impression, since he will soon have a fulltime position with Apple.
“I will be in the IS&T (Information Systems and Technology) division, mostly working with software development for mobile apps, but I’ll be able to try out some management roles, such as products management. This is an exploratory program, so I hope to be able to choose where I’d have the most impact,” McCray said.
McCray hopes to travel this summer and to make time for a few of his hobbies, including playing video games, building computers and going to rock climbing gyms.
He is looking forward to starting his new job, which will be challenging as well as rewarding. After all, he’s been around computers nearly all his life, so he’s just taking it to the next level.
“Donovan is an extraordinary young person,” said Emily Patrick, his senior English teacher at IMPACT ECHS. “He’s kind, generous and quietly brilliant, all while remaining humble. I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes next!”