Courtney Kent - Creative Computing Student and SMU Band Member

  • Name: Courtney Kent

  • Education: Senior Creative Computing Major at Southern Methodist University Hometown: Southlake, TX
  • Target Audience: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School

Why did you choose your major? Did you always know this is what you wanted to do?
Originally, I was Electrical Engineering because I really liked math and physics in high school. Within the first month, I hated it, and I switched to Computer Science. It felt super technical and stopped being fun, and I had been computer science and creative computing, so I switched over to creative computing completely because it also gave me the opportunity to do the 4+1 program in MADI. I liked creative computing because there was more human interaction. I had absolutely no idea coming into college, when I did a tour of SMU, I went to mickey and asked him with engineering was. Mickey was the one who convinced me to do engineering. I still don’t know what career I want, but I took many classes that I wanted to take.

What is your main role in Band?
In the band, I have a couple different roles. I play the baritone. I’m also the section leader – I make sure others do what they’re supposed to do. I'm also on the Pigskin Revue board. The Pigskin Revue is a variety show we do at homecoming each year, and I've helped plan it for the past 3 years. I'm also the student representative to the alumni organization and give them actual perspective of what’s happening in Band now. 

What does your average day look like? (Class, practice, games, etc.)
I usually have classes in the later morning/early afternoon, and then band rehearsal actually is a class – twice a week for 1 hour, I go play. Thursday evenings, we have a 3 hour marching rehearsal during the weeks when we have a game. I do homework during my breaks and before band. 

Do you apply what you learn in the classroom on the field?
Not really. I learn a lot of computer stuff, and I'm a graphic design minor. Marching you apply a lot of what you learned in high school - you were trained how to do that stuff then, and it’s not different now.

What's the biggest sacrifice you've had to make trying to do it all (school, band, family, etc.)?
I had to sacrifice being able to join too many other groups. You have to decide if you want to do band or other groups. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your holidays – thankfully I live close, but a lot of people don’t get to go home during some breaks

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? 
My ultimate goal is to work for Southwest Airlines. I interned for them 2 years ago, and I found that it was the best company in the world. I don’t know exactly what department I'd work in, though. I want to do some sort of project management; every major I’ve done has had a lot of projects, and I’m pretty good at managing people. I also hope to have a stable job. 


Do you have any suggestions for how kids can balance STEM interests and music interests? Any courses you can recommend students to take before college?
It’s all about time management. If you have an hour break between classes, you have to do your homework then because you’ll have band/rehearsal later on. It’s a time management thing. Don’t put off your work. Take as many AP or dual credit classes to get college credit because it lets you take more classes in college that you can enjoy more. As far as specific courses, take calculus ahead of time. Physics is also pretty helpful for people. Get as many things out of the way you possibly can. 

What was your favorite class growing up?
It was math because there was always a right answer, and it was very procedural. It was easy to see what I got wrong if I got the answer wrong. I enjoyed physics for a lot of the same reasons. I always liked having the definitive answer.

Are you a first generation college student?

When did you start your instrument?
I started playing euphonium in 6th grade. 

Fun Fact?
I was born legally blind in my left eye. I got glasses when I was 2, and I had to wear a patch over my good eye to work out my bad eye for an hour every day. I am amazing at Tetris because I hated going out during that hour, and my mom bought me the game, and I played for an hour every single day for 10 years. Now I have 20-20 vision!