Student Stories

Billy Caruso '18

Photo of Billy CarusoElectrical Engineering and Computer Science

I was born and raised in Toms River on the Jersey Shore where summers are full of beach, boardwalk and everything local. My family cherishes our Italian-American heritage and I take pride in our traditions. I am the youngest of five boys and grew up practicing math and playing sports.

Since middle school I was fascinated by Apple - both the company culture and their amazing products. It was then that I knew I wanted to study computer science. My parents had very minimal technical experience their entire lives - but my oldest brother had made our family purchase a computer. Throughout high school I took every programming course that was offered and confirmed my career goal of being a coder. It was an easy choice when I came to MIT to study Course 6.3. Currently I program (mainly) in Swift, Python, and Java with a focus on iOS and Web Development.

I'm active at MIT in many ways. I lived on Burton Third for two years before moving into my fraternity, Sigma Chi. I'm a member of the varsity Rifle Team (Division III) and participate in a bunch of IM sports with both of my living communities. In addition to FGP, I'm a member of the 2018 Ring Committee and the Course 6 liaison group USAGE. I'm also a Course 6 tour guide. I've done research at the Media Lab, Physics Junior Lab, Mobile Experience Lab and currently in CSAIL with the W3C. In addition I've been involved with MIT's entrepreneurship programs - most notably MIT Sandbox.

MIT is a very special place for First Gen students. Here everyone is treated equal - it's not the things or money you have that matters but instead your creativity, passion and intelligence. Being a First Gen student at MIT has gave me the opportunity to attend the 1VYG Conference - a weekend long meetup of First Gen students from top schools around the nation. My experience of talking with others and listening to their stories proved to me even more that MIT was a special and wonderful place to be the first in your family to attend college. The FGP community is one of the many reasons why being First Gen at MIT is so special.