Laker alumnus to speak about post-college success

Courtesy / Eric Maino

Courtesy / Eric Maino

Amy McNeel

On Monday, Oct. 1, a Grand Valley State University alumnus will discuss how he brought the Laker Effect to the Microsoft Corporation. Eric Maino, a 2005 Computer Information Systems graduate, is now the Principal Engineering Lead of Commercial Software Engineering at Microsoft. 

The event, called “Love Your Work, Love Your Life,” is taking place at 4 p.m. at the Cook-DeWitt Center auditorium. At the event, Maino will be discussing his journey from GVSU to Microsoft. 

“I will talk about the path I’ve taken over the last 15 years, how it landed me at Microsoft and why I’m still here today,” Maino said. “I will have some prepared material, but I also hope for this to be a discussion where students and faculty can ask me anything.” 

The event will be an opportunity for students to learn about the possibilities beyond college and will emphasize opportunities in the computing and technology industries. 

“For all GV students, Mr. Maino will offer a view of a career path not many students will have an opportunity to experience,” said Dr. Paul Leidig, director and professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems. “For computing or STEM students, Eric will provide insight into the world of the high-tech innovative space.”

While there is an emphasis in computing and STEMs, all students are welcome to attend. Maino said that students should attend this talk if they can’t answer where they are going next, what they will be doing in the next five years or if they desire to have their assumptions challenged. He also said that those who have questions about the tech industry or are curious about software engineering or programming are welcome to attend and ask questions. 

“I think Eric will share his career journey in a way that will provide advice to current students that will be helpful in their own career,” Leidig said. “Mr. Maino serves as an inspiration to GV students and alumni on what dedication and effort can do to a career.” 

Maino has worked hard to get to his current position and has taken his learnings from GVSU into the workforce. He is an example of what GVSU students are capable of and how the Laker Effect can drive students to success. 

“The most important thing to me at Grand Valley was the openness and availability of the professors,” Maino said. “This is not something that is found at every university and should not be missed. It was this access and the ability to build relationships with professors that helped me to excel in my career.”

Maino hopes that his story can inspire and educate current GVSU students. 

“Live life being happy. If you are not happy, make a change,” Maino said. “Smile often, question everything and challenge all assumptions.” 

Maino’s hard work and prestigious, successful career is something all GVSU students can look up to. 

“He has consistently given back to GVSU via guest lecturing in classes, meeting with faculty, speaking to student groups, sponsoring capstone projects and even endowing a scholarship for CIS students,” Leidig said. 

While Maino graduated in 2005, he has continued to support GVSU and give back to the Laker community.